Bestie’s Brother & Never Been Kissed


You’re in for a treat because today’s episode is all about YOU. Yes, you. In our special Dear Damona episode, we tackle the questions about love,dating, sex, and romance that you’ve submitted. And we guarantee you that even if you haven’t sent in a question this month, one of the challenges that is addressed in today’s episode is likely to sound very familiar to you.

But first, let’s dish!


Workplace Romance

Workplace Romance: yeah or nay according to millennials and Gen Z workers. Damona weighs in.


Different Dating App Features

Everything you wanted to know about how each dating app works but didn’t have the energy to log in, set up a profile, and swipe to find out. Damona explains more.


Famous Women Dating Shorter Men

Does height really matter in dating? Not as much as you might think according to these celebrity couples. Damona weighs in.




In this Dear Damona episode dedicated to answering your dating questions:

•Will love actually happen when you “least expect it” as they say?
•What do you do when a guy wants to go slow?
•Am I limiting myself too much if I only swipe on guys with college degrees?
•How to navigate mental health challenges in a relationship?
•24 and never been kissed. Do I tell the guys I’m dating?
•Should you be completely honest about your age?
•I’m in love with my best friend’s little brother and I think he feels it too?
•Proper phone etiquette on a date?
•How do you date someone in the adult film industry?


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Are we supposed to get married?


Unknown Speaker  0:01  

I’m gonna just swipe. I


Unknown Speaker  0:02  

don’t want somebody to share my life.


Damona  0:09  

You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, you are in for a holiday treat because today’s episode is all about you. Yes, you. In our special dear Dimona episodes, I tackle the questions about love, dating, sex and romance that you’ve submitted. And I guarantee you that even if you haven’t sent a question in this month, one of the challenges that is addressed in today’s episode is likely to sound very familiar to you. But before we get into q&a, you know, I have these headlines I will cover does height really matter in dating? Not as much as you might think, according to these celebrity couples, and workplace romance, yay, or nay according to millennials and Gen Z workers. Plus, everything you wanted to know about how each dating app works, but didn’t have the energy to login, set up a profile and swipe to find out? Then I’ll answer your questions, including how important is sex and intimacy in a relationship? And should you use your real age on dating apps, plus 24 and never been kissed what you need to know about dating today. And we end with a kicker question that is even too hot for this tease. So stay tuned to the end for that juicy one. That’s what’s on deck for today’s dates and mates. Now it’s time for the dish.


Unknown Speaker  1:49  

These dating dish.


Damona  1:52  

The Wall Street Journal gave us a thought provoking new article on workplace romance. You’ve heard me talk on this podcast about it before. But according to a new Stanford University study, they found that the percentage of straight couples who met through work actually dropped from 19% to 11%. between 1995 and 2017. The article says that part of the shift can be attributed to the rising popularity of online dating. But there’s also been the rising popularity of a little movement called hashtag me to that probably also played a role in the decline of office relationships. I think the last time we might have talked about workplace romance on this show could have been even before Me too. But there were studies around that time. That said, people were starting to think that it was a good idea to meet someone at work. And I think it’s because we were spending so much time at work that where else were we going to meet someone. But now that dating apps have become a little bit more popular, less stigmatized. And now that of course, me too has helped us realize the power dynamics and the the uncomfortable situations that you could be putting yourself in and the way it could impact your career trajectory, whether you are male, female, whether you are the person to initiate or not. And because let’s face it, COVID, and this study ended in 2017. But I can only imagine now, who’s in your workplace was in your workplace that you could possibly date. So I am I’m with this new data. And I really believe that the workplace is not the best place to find your match. Of course, I know you’re all going to write to me and say, but damona I know about this person who met their husband, and they’ve been together for 25 years or but Dimona, I had this really great flirtation. And then because I was out with this person, I got this promotion, whatever, of course, you’re going to hear all of the the different, different perspectives on this. But the bottom line is, I want you to be successful at work. And I want you to be successful at love. And the data shows that your best chance at doing both of those things is to separate those two worlds. According to the, there are a bunch of new dating app features that you need to know about. I loved this article, because it really just broke down all of the different features and the changes in COVID. We talked about dating apps on this show. I know quite a lot. But I really just think that it’s the best way to expand your dating pool right now, regardless of your age, regardless of geography and even pre COVID of course I said that but now in COVID if you’re looking for love, this is the place to be but you need to know what features and what benefit benefits each app has. So this article which we’ll link to in the show notes, breaks it all down. But basically, I’ll give you the Cliff’s notes. Okay, Cupid, they confirmed, and I did not tell them this, y’all that women on the site are sending 40% more messages, more intro messages than they did before, March before COVID. And you’ve heard me say on the show before, take control of your dating destiny. So I’m very pro women sending outgoing messages, I think Bumble has had a little bit of a of an impact on that, because now it’s normalized women sending messages. But still not enough. Ladies are doing it. So let’s, let’s take away the gender norms. Let’s put chivalry aside for a second, you’re just dealing with an app. And OkCupid is telling us that this is where the action is. Also, they made it so that you could take away your location boundaries. So instead of just being like location based, which a lot of the apps are and choosing people in your immediate radius, that you can expand your radius, maybe beyond what you normally would search or even across the country. And okay Cupid said those who have no location boundaries have 5% more conversations than those who restricted it. Are those conversations leading to dates, we don’t know. But unless you try it, you don’t know where your dating destiny might lead match. They’ve added a bunch of features with games and icebreakers. I’ve talked about this on the show as well when you’re doing video chat dates. And when you’re getting to know someone in the virtual space now that many of us are on second wave lockdown, and can’t go out to social distance dates. definitely take advantage of those games and icebreakers to to make the dates more fun. It shouldn’t feel like a job interview, it shouldn’t feel like a chore, make it fun, set yourself up for success. Tinder, they actually said they saw a 15% spike in new revenue for first time subscribers to Tinder. So that means, and that’s just from April to the end of July. So that means a lot of new people are on Tinder. If you haven’t tried it in a minute, you might want to think about it again. Because that is sort of the gateway drug is the gateway dating app drug. So there’s a lot more people there, they’ve added face to face video. So this is video chat within the app. But it’s a little different than then you know how on zoom, you see yourself and like a little, little box. And then you see the other person big, or it switches based on who’s talking. This is like a side by side video chat. So you can actually feel more like you’re in a direct conversation. And then plenty of fish. I think they take the cake doing live stream. And I want to know what you all think about it, or if anyone’s tried the plenty of fish live stream feature. But you know the same way that you live stream on Instagram, like if you see someone on video, you get a sense of their personality, how they walk and talk, how they move, and all that is a part of attraction. So take advantage of these new features. There’s even more in this article, they talk about Bumble and they talk about Coffee Meets Bagel, we’ll put the link in the show notes if you want to switch it up with the dating app and see who else might be out there. And while you’re looking, you might want to think about the height restrictions that you’re placing on your dates. We got a lot of mail in about our episode on shorter guys dating back in the spring. I know y’all are having some feelings. And look, I’ll be honest, I’m five feet tall. I never had height restriction because everyone pretty much is taller than me. So okay, you can take that into consideration. But I’ve seen time and time again with my clients. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, that when they don’t put a strict height restriction or any kind of restriction really on physical traits that they have more success in they’re able to find a match who loves adores, respects them, treats them well makes them excited more quickly than if they are super restricted in their searches and are only looking for people who are say, I don’t know, three inches taller than them and heels. I know y’all be doing that, that height math. But this article in the things calm pointed out a few celebrity couples that are successfully together and have a height differential. So Nicole Kidman for example, who’s five foot 11 I mean, if you’re five foot 11 and you’re like the guy needs to be taller than me, I couldn’t even tell you how small that dating pool of eligible bachelors is. But Nicole Kidman never been an issue for her. We all know that Tom Cruise is super super petite. But Keith Urban is actually one inch shorter than he then she is also a Nikko Parrish and Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart is notoriously tiny five foot four. She’s five Didn’t have any problem didn’t have any problem. You know, she likes living in that that big beautiful house. I don’t know if y’all saw his Netflix special or his Netflix series, but they’re doing okay. They are doing just fine. Tina Fey is also with a shorter man. Her husband, Jeff Richmond is five foot one same height as my dad. Although he’s gonna tell you he’s five foot two if he’s listening to this podcast. But anyways, not an issue for Jeff Richman. He’s a composer. And he got the funniest lady in the game at three, four inches shorter. So just see what happens. Y’all just open up your mind. Don’t get so fixated on the package that love comes in. But really get into how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel when you’re with that person? How do they light you up? How do they make your life? How do they enhance your life and bring more joy to you, especially at a time like this? Those are the headlines for today. Your questions are coming right up in dear demona. We will be talking about things like is it cool to date, your friend’s younger brother and cell phone etiquette on dates, so many questions, so many answers. Don’t go anywhere.


Welcome back. I am so overwhelmed with all of your questions. So I want to dive right into it. My friends. This is dear Dimona D.


Unknown Speaker  11:33  

Help me


Damona  11:34  

Our first question comes to us from a listener named Samantha.


Samantha and lovers, I think you know what I’m going to say to this, what have you gotten that was worthwhile in your life by just letting it unfold by chance? Hmm, not that much. I have seen time and time again that when you make love a priority, when you put that focus on your dating life and say, This, to me is more important right now then hanging out with my friends, or my job, for example, often it’s my job, or my extreme commitment to working out and make it have that level of importance in your life carve out the time, the same way that you do when you commit to those other things, when you make that kind of a commitment to love. That is when I have seen for my clients things unfold very quickly. And I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but I had a 90% success rate in my VIP coaching program last year. And that was people who committed three months of their life, to making dating a priority to showing up for sessions with me to doing the homework that was asked of them to making finding love either the most important or something that was important enough that they were willing to carve out space and put other things on hold to focus on it. Those people ended up in relationships within three months. So to me that says that dedicated focus and, and decisive action gets results. And I’ve seen that in my life in other areas. So why would finding love be any different? I really I really resent the that phrase of it’ll happen when you least expect it. Because to me, that’s telling you that you need to just give up everything. And then that’s when things unfold. And I think that that’s just the most backwards advice. Of course, there is the advice against holding something so tightly that you can’t let it grow. But that’s not what I talk about when I talk about clarity and decisive action and carving out the time. So Samantha, that is my answer what I think about people who say it’ll happen when you least expect it. This next question comes to us from Lauren. She says What does it mean? If a guy opens up that his past relationships were usually lost or physically driven and shouldn’t have lasted? However, with me, she’s talking about just not a guy she’s talking about a specific guy with me. He hasn’t been intimate. Parents medical here sex because he wants to be sure we can have both What would you advise that this means? Well, Lauren, I don’t know how long this this relationship has been going on for. But what I’ll tell you is that sex and intimacy are generally always a part of a relationship. And especially if you know, it’s not that he’s asexual, which some people are, he’s not asexual, because he has had sexually driven relationships in the past. So even if he’s not lust driven, there should be some physical intimacy between the two of you. I’m not saying that, that it’s doomed. But this is definitely something that you need to address. If this is something that you are interested in, of course, people make different decisions about dating, whether for their faith or for the way they want the relationship to play out. But if you are not getting your needs met, and this is on an emotional level, or a sexual level, this is something that you do need to bring up to him. And you can phrase it not like,


please don’t phrase it like this, Lauren, like, What is wrong with me that you don’t want to have sex with me, because that’s definitely not going to get you the response that you’re looking for. But if you could just even write this out, in advance, write down what you would say, and kind of work through the emotionality of it, so that you can approach him with clarity and, and, and without judgment. And just say, to me, sex is important in a relationship, or intimacy is an important part of the relationship. I love, the emotional connection that we share. And I wonder how we might be able to deepen this physical part of our relationship together. And then y’all have heard me say this on the show before, stop, pause, listen, see what he says back to that, because you’ll know very quickly, if he’s like stammering, and looking for excuses of why that makes him uncomfortable, or you can’t do that, that to me would be a sign that something is wrong. But if he leans into you, and he says, Wow, I hadn’t looked at it like that I am really invested in this relationship too. And I want to figure this out, then you know that you have a guy that’s going to go the distance, and show up for you in the way that you deserve. This next question comes to me from Instagram.


Unknown Speaker  17:28  

Hi, Dimona. So my question for you is, whenever I’m on the dating apps, and I’m swiping or liking profile, I tend to only, like the profiles, in which the guy has a college degree. I myself have two degrees. So that’s really important. But I’m wondering if that is me just being too picky, or if that’s me, just having a certain standard.


Damona  17:59  

Ladies, ladies, ladies, we do this, don’t we? We like to put different, different hurdles for guys to jump over. And look, I’m a sapiosexual. I’ll I’ll admit that education was important to me too. But you have to understand, and I’m sure you do, if you looked around your classes in college to realize that women are actually getting advanced degrees at higher rates than men are. So let’s just do some dating pool math, when you are dating in a pool of people that either have a master’s degree or higher, and then you start to layer on all of these other things that are on our list that really are important. Your dating pool is going to get smaller, and smaller and smaller, because just statistically speaking, there are fewer guys that are going to have master’s degree, master’s degrees or higher at this point. So are you limiting your options too much? Um, maybe I would say, I would say do a little work around figuring out what that means to you. What is a master’s degree mean? And what is not having a master’s degree mean? Like, do you feel when you’re with someone who does not have a master’s degree? Do you feel judged for being highly educated? Or do you feel like you’re not intellectually stimulated when you are with someone who does not have a master’s degree? And then if you could extrapolate that down into what does it really mean? You could figure out what is the actual filter? Because if the actual filter is he must have a master’s degree or doctorate or something like that, then yeah, your dating pool is going to be limited. But if you could say, oh, that means to me, I need to be with a man who respects my level of education and doesn’t feel intimidated by that, then that is not a limiting factor any longer. Our next question comes to us from a listener on Instagram, who we will call Kay Kay says lately I’ve been questioning whether my relationship is worth saving. or not, I’ve been dating my partner for four years now we have a dog we adopted as a couple. He’s 34. And I’m 27. Two years ago, I broke up with him because I felt emotionally neglected and didn’t feel it could change and moved out of town. That’s a long way to go to leave a relationship. Months later, we started talking again and visiting each other. So we could see our dog, which he kept. I’m going to give you the Cliff’s notes, now they started dating again. And then they have been living together, again with each other for a year. But those changes have triggered a deep depression that he is is dealing with. And she’s also she’s also handling her own mental health issues. And she’s wondering if in the era of COVID, because of course, for everyone, and for Kay as well, it has added an extra level of confusion. She wants to know if this pattern can change, or if they are just not emotionally compatible. a difficult question in normal circumstances, but in COVID, even more complicated, and of course, with the way things are, she says neither of us have the option of breaking our lease and moving somewhere else, as money is very tight. Thank you, Kay. I know this is a this is a challenging situation for a lot of people. And there are a lot of folks right now who are staying together because the situation would isn’t isn’t possible for them to move out. First, I just want to address the relationship. And then I want to address what you what actions you can take next.


This is a huge challenge, not the mental health part of it. And I do want to address that, because I feel like a lot of Look, it’s no secret betterhelp is one of our biggest sponsors, for for a reason. Because I believe that mental health works in tandem and is a is a is an extremely important part of understanding yourself and the way that you operate in a relationship. So I’m not going to say you should abandon someone with mental health challenges or that that you should step away from a situation if you see that is causing just because you see it as causing you mental stress. That is something certainly to work through with your with your therapist. And I think a lot of relationships actually are opportunities for us to work through our communication style and to work through our challenges. So of course, if there’s anything like excessive drinking, that makes an environment unsafe for you, you have to get out regardless of money, someone a friend, somebody would take you in, if it’s not that, that level of intensity, if it’s just that you feel that he’s pulling away, and you feel like he’s not engaging with you. That would not be a reason to me to leave. But it would be a reason to say, to say I want to support you and helping you move through this, because I want to strengthen our relationship. And when you are when you are so deep in your depression, I I feel helpless, like I can’t reach you. And you can maybe work with a separate couples counselor to to work through this together. But if you know you’ve been in this relationship, I think you said for for two years. And it’s if this is always the dynamic, if it’s on again off again, high intensity pulling away, diving back in, it may be more it may be causing you more mental stress than it is causing you. Happiness. And if that is the answer, if you look back over time, and you’re like, what is this relationship given me? And the answer is more stress than more joy, then I think you have to start to plan for yourself. What is the way to rebuild my life outside of this relationship? How is that going to be possible? And as I said earlier, even though finances I know are really tight for a lot of people right now. There, I guarantee you there’s someone who might not be comfortable. But there’s someone who would help you to move on if you decide that this is the right choice for you, and the right time for you to do it. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t be afraid to start that conversation with your therapist of just saying what would my life look like if I wasn’t in this relationship and you’ve had a little taste of this before. Having moved away, but you only got one chance to have this life, Kay. And who you choose to spend your time with and the way you choose to live your life, it matters. So if you are not getting your needs met in this relationship, it’s also not up to you to save him and to be responsible for his mental health. All right, we have a question now from Caroline. She sent this to me on Instagram, she says, I’m 24. And I’ve never kissed anyone. And I’m starting to go on dates via different apps. And I’m really nervous about broaching this topic. And the sex topic. Do you have any advice on how to bring this up? Or do I even bring it up? Just any advice on the whole situation would be great.


Caroline, thank you so much for being brave enough to share this question. I’m sure there are a lot of listeners right now, who either can relate to feeling the way that you are feeling right now, or who are exactly going through this right now. I was a bit of a late bloomer, myself, and I can understand the feeling of like, you feel like everyone else is doing it. And you’re you gotten left behind. And the idea of, of even expressing that to a partner, or showing how inexperienced you are romantically, that that brings up anxiety for you, right? So what I would say is, first of all, there’s like tons of content out there, if you’re really nervous about sex and understanding just how to be a good kisser how to how to be a good sexual partner. It’s not my expertise, so I’m not going to cover it today. But like, Emily Morris, who’s been on the show before, she’s a great resource for that Dr. Chris Donahue, who’s also been on the show, if you want to listen to those episodes, or go check out their content. They have great information on how you can get comfortable in your own body. But I would say, you don’t actually need to bring up the topic. Because it’s actually not their business. The only important thing before you, you move into a sexual situation with someone I believe that you need to do need to disclose is, if you are if you have STI STI or not, and if they if they’ve been checked or not. And of course, if you have COVID, or in a hunch, and whether whether they have been tested for the same, and beyond that, I think you let the information unfold as you feel comfortable. So you never have to share if somebody like how many dudes Have you had sex with? I know we feel pressured to answer questions directly. But there’s always a way to flip it and equate cuz they’re not really asking that question. I guarantee you No man really wants to know how many men you’ve had sex with? If you just flip it, like why would I talk about what men I’ve had sex with? When I’m here with you? And when I’m with a sexy guy like you trust me, you say that he’s not going to be thinking about the other dudes that you hypothetically have had sex with her not. Our next question comes to us from Trisha.


Unknown Speaker  28:23  

Hi, demona. This is Trisha from the great white north of Canada. I am a newbie at dating apps and getting ready to prepare my profile. My question for you is, should you be completely honest about your real age? The old classic response of a lady never reveals her age. Does that still apply to today? I’m in my mid 50s. Yet no one guesses that usually 10 to 15 younger. And all thanks to my god given useful genetics. I would absolutely love to hear your opinion on this. Thanks to Pomona and stay healthy and safe. xo xo?


Damona  29:09  

Trisha, this is a complicated question, because I think you should always be honest, but I have dealt with a lot of clients. And I’ve seen a lot of profiles of people who fudge their age. And there’s a strategic reasoning for this. Certainly, when you’re dealing with the dating apps, you’re dealing with a tool, you’re dealing with an algorithm and real talk, there are real breaks that people use when they’re searching in their their search criteria. So it’s common that they’ll either say I’m searching five years or five years older and five years younger, although or they’ll say I’m searching between 45 and 50. And every five years there tend to be those breaks. Okay, so we know that those are there. What that means is that you’re not Coming up in as many of the searches of those people. But if you are on an app where you can do searching like a match, for example, you can set your parameters wider, and you can be the one to initiate messages. And studies have shown that if someone is attracted to you, even if you fall outside of their age range, they will still message you back if they find you attractive. So it’s really just about seeing that, building that attraction and letting that unfold. I would also say that if you’re on a swipe app, if you are similar, similarly age to the people in their age range, you guys have probably noticed this guys and gals have noticed this on your dating apps that you’ll have your parameters set for a certain age range, and then you’re like, here comes this guy, and he’s like seven years older than the oldest, I would say I would date. And that’s a lot of times one, because the match algorithm, algorithm is a little bit fuzzy on the swipe apps, and two, because that person might have seen you in their searches. And they are then going to present that person in your, in your feed of matches, that that will enable you to see them and potentially swipe on them, even if you have been more restrictive in your in your search criteria. Okay, so to answer your question and drive this home, it’s up to you, I wouldn’t want to start a relationship based on a lie and have the first thing in my profile, or the first thing that you say on a date be Oh, by the way, I’m actually this age, up to you. But it does require a little bit more effort, a little bit more of the outgoing message sending as I was talking about in the first segment. And eventually, if you are doing the work and you’re showing up, you are going to match with somebody who doesn’t think of your age as an issue whether they are in the same age range as you or not. Okay, this one was emailed to me Dimona at damona Hoffman calm or you can go through the website at data and This person says I think I found the one in my closest girlfriends younger brother. He’s 28. I’m 32. I had a feeling about him years ago. And then I met him again recently. And there was a spark that I hadn’t felt before with anyone. He texted me a few times, but I didn’t expect much as he had just moved back from Virginia to Arizona to start a medical practice. I haven’t had any new texts from him since October and no calls, but I’m not worried about it. I think that he felt the spark too. But there hasn’t been a dialogue about it. Am I on the right track? Or am I destined to be alone forever? Oh, my goodness, m This is from listener m. m, there’s a big range between Am I on the right track? And am I destined to be alone forever? Okay, so let’s break down some of these alternatives scenarios. First of all, let’s just take out you’re not destined to be alone forever. So even if this situation doesn’t work out, it’s not fair to even have that in the back of your mind. So we’ve scratched that off the list. Are you on the right track? I don’t know. It’s very hard. Like it sounds to me like this is a little bit of a leap from like, I had a crush to like he texted me to. Now we haven’t texted in weeks. And he’s my soulmate. Like that, to me feels like a little bit of a leap. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t possibly happen. So even if you haven’t had any new texts from him, I would just ask you and what are you doing? What actions are you taking to express interest to him? And before you do that, you just have to ask yourself, how will this impact my relationship with my closest girlfriend if I’m dating his brother? Because that might be weird. That might not be okay for her.


Unknown Speaker  34:10  



Damona  34:11  

You might have to ask yourself how that might impact your relationship with your closest girlfriend if you’re dating her younger brother. Because you don’t know what impact that might have. And this is your You said your closest girlfriend You didn’t even just say like some girl I used to hang out with this is your closest girlfriend. Is it worth that risk and I have seen family relationships blossom into introducing people to their lifelong partners. So this could absolutely work. But I feel like you need to play this out a little bit with your friend before you start going down that road. But it might require because you are older. You are his sister’s best friend. To me, that sounds like a huge risk for him to even bridge that conversation. So you might need to push things along a little bit more if you want something to happen, but I would tread lightly am and make sure that it’s really what you want. And that it’s the, it’s the, it’s the next best step. And I would definitely be careful with any kind of grand statements about the one or alone forever because there’s a whole range of possibilities out there for you in between those two things. Okay, this one comes to us from Instagram. This listener found me on the Drew Barrymore show, she says, girl, do I have stories for you? What I want to touch on? Is cell phone etiquette on dates. Do you leave them in your car? Do they? Do you bring them with you? Now men have them attached to their wrists, and they go off at the most inappropriate time. I say leave them in the car. I’m old school. When you’re on a date, you need nothing to distract you with that time of that person. This one is from Gigi. So Gigi, I would say, yeah, I’m with you cell phones can really impact the way that you feel on a date. And there’s actually studies on this as well, about even the presence on a cell of a cell phone on a date. Like if you put your phone down on the table, it can make the person across from you feel less, like you’re less trustworthy. It’s so weird. I know that like people like me study these kind of things. But I think that what it indicates is that you’re looking for sort of a way out and that there’s a just there’s maybe another possibility in your phone or that you’re not giving someone your undivided attention. It’s funny, as I was just saying that to you, my phone went off full disclosure. So I’m going to ignore it and put my phone away because you have my undivided attention right now. And I feel like there’s a good way to initiate this conversation. Because if you’re just like, Dude, why are you got your phone on the table? That isn’t going to feel so good for him and not, it’s not going to work out so well for you. But if you say, you know, I really just want to focus on you, I’m actually going to leave my phone in the car, then he might say, Oh, yeah, I would do the same thing. Because it’s so it is so ingrained in our culture, that to leave your phone in the car or like put it away or turn it off. It almost feels like you’re naked, right? It feels like oh, there’s a part of me. And, of course, like I’m a parent, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. Because I’m like, what if somebody calls about my kids. So I don’t know if if you have kids or if he has kids or, or a business or something that needs your attention all the time. But I think it is fair to say for an hour, I’m focusing just on you, and turning the phones off so that we can really connect. I think that’s hot. Okay, our last one, y’all is spicy. This comes to us from Alexander, how do


Unknown Speaker  38:10  

you date somebody that is actively involved in the adult film world. And I have to tell you, it’s it’s a huge issue right now in the LGBT community, because a lot of people have had to turn from gogo dancing or Instagram, quote, you know, Instagram modeling, to start their only fans or just for fans platform just to earn some money. A lot of people that swore that they’d never do it are now doing it. And I’m not talking like full blown, you know, poor and I’m talking about, you know, be naked and solo stuff. But a lot of people are now having that conversation in their relationships, because they need to earn money. It’s a great way to make money if you have the body. And you know, and the know how. And so it’s a big issue with a lot of relationships when somebody’s partner is filming content for adult platforms.


Damona  39:00  

All right, I know many of you may not be able to relate to dating someone in the adult film industry. But these only fans accounts are only getting more and more popular. We had a question from Christopher a couple weeks ago, about girls on on Tinder using that dating app as their personal promo for their only fans. So this is this is really about security in a relationship and boundaries. It’s really about boundaries. Because when you have a third party that’s involved in your relationship, in this case, all of their fans that see intimate parts of themselves that can create that can create a feeling of lack of trust, or a feeling of betrayal if you don’t have an agreement or understanding around it. So I think you need to talk to your partner about what their boundaries are for their for their fans and what they are saving for just you what is sacred, what is intimate just between the two of you, that your friends that their fans don’t have access to. And that’s really, I think, at the core of figuring out how to move forward when people, other people have access to your partner. And this may show up in different ways for different people. Like, I’m sure there are people listening, whose partners or people they’re dating, are huge on Instagram, and are always doing stories and are always, always wanting to, to, you know, broadcast their life. And that can impact your sense of trust and intimacy, because you don’t know what what is going to be shared publicly. So as our lives are all becoming more, more public, more live streamed more posted about, we do have to have these conversations about boundaries, and what all of that means and how you can build that intimacy and trust between the two of you. Oh, I had so much fun with this episode. I love giving advice. My dear demona episodes are just my favorite. This is episode number 338 of dates and mates. As always, we will put the link to all of the stories we discuss in the show notes. Those are at dates and And if you like what we’re doing here, you like this q&a kind of situation. I want to do this with you live I do a weekly live stream QA in my patreon Friends with Benefits group, you can join them for only five slash dates and mates and then you also get insider deals on all my programs. I have something really special coming up for January. I can’t tell you about it yet, but it’s coming soon. You also get access to bonus features library content. And you become a part of making this show available to so many people who need help and love right now. So you can find out slash dates and mates The link will be in the show notes. And also don’t forget to support our sponsor better help. I won’t say sponsor. Also don’t forget about better help. They are a big partner of the dates and mates podcast and you can get I don’t know what the bonuses but I’ll just say let them know I sent you. There a big partner of the dates and mates podcast and as I said earlier, mental health and dating relationships go hand in hand. So if you need someone to talk to check them slash dates and mates. I am already collecting questions for next month’s dear demona episode. You see how much fun it is when you hear people’s voices like nobody wants to hear me talk and wall to wall this whole podcast. So send me your questions in a voice memo at damona Hoffman on Instagram or you can leave me a voicemail 424-246-6255 I would love to answer your question on the next year Dimona until next week. I wish you happy dating


me too super long.


Transcribed by



Relationship Dynamics & Mr. Hoffman


So a few weeks ago, Damona got a tweet from someone who was – let’s say NOT a fan. This person really just had to let her know they were really against online dating.

REALLY Really anti online dating.

We want to talk about the stigma that online dating may or may not still hold with a very special guest – Damona’s husband Seth, who had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love.

But first, let’s dish!



No Shave November finds that No Shave November doesn’t hurt men’s chances at love. Damona explains why.

Questions to Ask Before You Date Right Now

Disease experts give a guide for questions you should ask while dating during the pandemic. Damona weighs in on this Business Insider article.

Being Ghosted

Well and Good tells us why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. Damona explains.


Damona’s husband, Seth Hoffman, joins to share his perspective on the challenges of online dating, relationship dynamics, and the realities of falling in love.


Damona 0:00
Hello lovers, what a special yet interesting week it is Thanksgiving here in the United States this week. Unlike most years, many of you may be having a different kind of Thanksgiving, maybe a friend’s giving maybe a long distance giving. But we are all being called right now to clip our perspective on a few things. And same is happening in my neck of the woods a few weeks ago, I got a tweet from someone who was, let’s say, not a fan. And usually I try not to overthink the criticism I received, but this person was really, they just really had to let me know that they were really against online dating, like really, really anti online dating. So I, you know, I tried to look at it from different perspectives. And I thought, I need to address this stigma that online dating may or may not still hold. Because I’ve been in this space for 17 years, I met my husband online 17 years ago. And there was definitely a stigma back then. But I’m interested in how it has shifted, changed or maybe remain the same in recent years, and there was only one person I could think of, to talk to me about this journey of online dating. And that is my husband, Seth. I convinced my very favorite person to come into the studio. And let me tell you, he is a major introvert. So this is a huge deal for him. But I really thought that he had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love in my book, and in his and hopefully in yours. Plus, it’s my birthday week. So he had to say yes. But first, of course, I have to get you up to speed on the headlines, even though it’s a holiday. The news just keeps on coming. You know, it’s No Shave November. But do you know, is it improving or hurting the chance of love for guys that wear their beards out? Also, what you should be asking to know if your date is COVID safe before you go out. And why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder than before. Those are the headlines this week. It’s a thought provoking week here on dates and mates. And now let’s dish did a survey for No Shave November. And it turns out, despite what popular dating experts might say, it’s not hurting men’s chances at love that I kind of poke fun at the fact that some of you know who’ve been listening to the show for a long time. I am not a fan of beards. And I’m sure there are some bearded men listening to this right now that are like come on Dimona. Why can’t bearded men have the love? Well, now you can and especially with No Shave November upon us. You really have no choice. Whatever charity you’re supporting, you know, for for those who don’t know, No Shave November you grow out your beard for a charity all month and then you shave but maybe you shouldn’t shave because according to survey 86% of singles enjoy facial hair on men and feel that it makes them look more masculine and mature. And this was a crazy number. You know, I thought oh, like a couple people do No Shave November. We’re all kind of aware of it. But is it really a thing? Well, according to the survey, almost 60% of men surveyed shared that they were participating. According to this survey, almost 60% of men shared that they were participating in No Shave November but then it made me think are we participating in No Shave November are we doing No Shave like the entire year? I know Look, I bought I bought some more of my Old Navy stretch pants some of you saw on Instagram I declared it is officially mumu season.

Unknown Speaker 4:20

Damona 4:24
you do what you want to do. But I feel like I I feel better. When I put myself together a little bit. Of course we have to be comfortable. We might have to wear stretch pants. We might have to wear moose. But if you’re going on a date, at least just try just try your best and there’s definitely a difference between your I’ve given up kind of beard and your I’m I’m deliberately intentionally wearing a beard and this is a statement or this is an experiment for me to see if I will be perceived as more masculine and mature Business Insider India shared some tips from a disease expert. I’m sorry to use the D word in this episode. But I want you all to have the facts. This disease experts said, there’s a guide for which questions you should be asking before you go on a date. Right now it’s funny because I keep getting these questions from my clients. So clearly, there is not a consensus on what you need to know before you decide to meet someone in a social distance setting, or not in a social distance setting. So this, this expert said, You should say, Are you a careful person or a carefree person? When it comes to the pandemic? I find that there’s a big spectrum though, there, there’s a lot in between, because I would say I’m probably more careful than carefree. But I’m not like, I’m not too, too crazy in either direction. But this is a great one. Do you wear a mask while you’re out in many places, as we are approaching the second wave, I’m in California, we just got a mask mandate and a curfew just to double down on that. So in other places, I know the attitudes are different. It’s a little crazy to me to think about, like what do you what do you mean asking? Do you wear a mask? It’s not a choice here. But in places where it is a choice, you definitely should be asking that. I thought this one was cute. How aware Are you of social distancing? Uh, if you are living in 2020, and you are not aware of social distancing, that is an absolute swipe left pass, don’t do not pass go Don’t even bother. So clearly, they have to be wary of social distancing. It’s more like, do you respect social distancing? But these are the tougher questions. Have you been tested for COVID-19? for any reason? I’ve been tested many times for no reason. And for also for work for a TV show that I’ve been working on. But I think it’s a good idea to know your status whenever you’re going to be near others. Have you been near anyone who’s tested positive for covid? 19? That’s an important one. Do you take public transit? Or do you go into an office for work? If you want to go on an in person date, make sure you ask them about their habits and their whereabouts and where they’ve been and whether you’re on the same wavelength, this is so vitally important, and I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and try and become a COVID safety expert. But I think it’s so important, especially where we are right now. And y’all have seen the graphs, and they do not look cute. If you do not want to be on that graph. And part of that statistic, you need to take this seriously. And you need to be asking your date’s, these tough questions, to protect yourself and your own safety. Okay, we’re going to turn a corner. I think dating, when we get the vaccines, things will shift. But up until that point, there’s so much that you can do to take responsibility for your own safety, and to also think about it from the other person’s perspective to maybe give them peace of mind that they’re going to be safe when they’re dating you. Our friends at well. And gave us the answer to the question why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. According to a poll of over 1000 people that the University of Phoenix and Harris Poll conducted 41% of Americans are feeling lonelier than ever since the pandemic setting. And I know, I know that that is it’s not easy, and it’s not getting any easier, anytime soon. So what’s happening is, it’s affecting people in different ways. And I’m seeing I’ve been doing this a long time, as, as you know, I’ve been coaching singles for a long time on online dating. And you have to consider first of all, you’re meeting strangers when you’re dating online. So we don’t have any context really, to what else is going on in their life or the way they process information. And it started this article started out with a story of this person who had been dating someone you know, for for a few weeks, like to the point where they were bubbled, they he was coming to her apartment, and then all of a sudden, he just stopped texting. He just totally ghosted, and she started to send those texts, you know, those texts like Hey, are you okay? which I’d never recommend sending. But look in the middle of a pandemic, it’s totally irrelevant.

Unknown Speaker 9:23
Are you okay?

Damona 9:24
This guy could have been in the hospital, he could have been worse. She didn’t know where he was or what had happened. Until she goes on Instagram and sees this fool doing backflips into the pool. And she knew Oh, he was alive and well. So that was certainly a blow to her and I’m sure you can relate to what she she was feeling and it’s happened to you as well, whether you’ve been ghosted further down the line like she was or even earlier, in feeling like you’ve made a connection or you’re texting someone and suddenly they go away. There’s this little this Just a bit of panic that I’m seeing set in, and anxiousness that’s making people do weird things. So it’s making like I was just swiping for a client the other day. And, you know, I’ll do the swiping, but then I have my clients are always the ones to do the communication. And this dude, in 24 hours, she hadn’t responded because she hadn’t logged in. And he started freaking out and sent like six messages. And it’s not completely unusual that I would see that in non pandemic times. But I felt a little bit more over the top. And the funny thing was, he wasn’t the only one that did it. And it was just like the act of swiping that gave them the sense of interest that made them like go full on into this expectation or anticipation of what dating her might be like. So it’s making people have this sort of anxious attachment, both in trying to move forward to getting someone in the bubble. But then a lot of people are panicking. On the other side, when things are moving along too quickly, I just heard from another client who seemed to be in a really successful relationship. And it’s blossom throughout the pandemic, but but I’m also hearing from people who are in relationships, or are in situation ships. And they’re feeling like their partners, like like this woman in the article are pulling away unexpectedly. And I just want to offer you compassion, and I want to offer you a tool to be able to, to forgive and release that person from the responsibility. And it can begin even just with writing a letter, just write a letter of forgiveness to that person rather than chasing them down. Are you okay? stalking them on social media, assuming they are still alive and well see what would happen if you could just just release them from from the need to take care of your emotional needs, so that you can release yourself of that expectation. And possibly open yourself up to the possibility that this person might not be right for you. But holding on to the idea or the pain of, of their unpredictability may keep you from being open to finding love with someone else. Again, those are the themes of the week. I know it is a tough one for so many of you. So I just I’m sending out lots of love. Lots of gratitude. I thank you for listening to the show. And I thank you for sticking with me through this break. Because when I come back, I will be here with my person, Mr. Seth Hoffman. Welcome back. with no further ado, and no need for smooches because obviously, they’re implied. Here I am with my husband, Seth Hoffman.

Unknown Speaker 13:07
Hi, ty.

Damona 13:08
Thank you for thank you for being on the dates and moods podcast again, your repeat.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
I’m a friend of the show.

Damona 13:18
That’s, that’s what he says about me. Um, okay, so for our newer listeners, they might not know you, I talk about you all the time on the show, but I wanted them to know that you are a real person. And I think it’s been, what, seven years since you’re on the show. It’s been

Unknown Speaker 13:37
it’s been a while.

Damona 13:38
I had your parents on like three years ago to celebrate their 50th anniversary. But it’s been a while since you’ve been here. So tell everybody who you are. And tell them what you do as well. That’s kind of interesting. Um,

Unknown Speaker 13:55
I name is Seth Hoffman. I am demonios husband. for work. I am a television writer specializing in one hour dramas.

Damona 14:07
I thought you’re gonna say like specializing in zombies and breaking out of prison zombies

Unknown Speaker 14:13
and irascible doctors and breaking out of prison. Yeah.

Damona 14:20
So yeah, that was a pop quiz. If you can figure out what shows he means. He’s worked on the walking dead and house and Prison Break and a bunch of other stuff that maybe he doesn’t want me to mention that.

Unknown Speaker 14:32
Those are the highlights of my IMDB page.

Unknown Speaker 14:35
Yeah, everybody good. Go check it out.

Damona 14:37
I didn’t try to make you claim me on IMDB by the way.

Unknown Speaker 14:41
You did.

Damona 14:42
I did. I claimed you. So you are claimed on my IMDB page. But when I go to your IMDB page, not for nothing. I’m not there. I

Unknown Speaker 14:52
I don’t have much of a social media imprint of any sort. So I don’t really maintain My IMDB page are there. Are there people maintaining my IMDB page for me?

Damona 15:05
No, that’s I think for you to do. I don’t know, talk to your talk to your people about it. I do my own.

Unknown Speaker 15:13
But you don’t have any social media presence. I am. I was on Friendster. For a while Friendster was the thing in like 2005.

Damona 15:24
Where we Friendster friends, we must have.

Unknown Speaker 15:26
Yeah. But what happened was, I realized very quickly that it was I was addicted to it and sort of needed that needed to constantly refresh Friendster and sort of see what everybody was up to. And it was, it was kind of poison for me. And so when Facebook came out, I just knew it would be bad for me. bad for my mental health. If, if I if I became a Facebook subscriber member.

Damona 16:03
Yeah, I feel like it does add this other layer of pressure. In fact, I just got a question from a listener who was was asking me about her boyfriend’s social media dealings. So in this particular situation, she, she wasn’t sure what coworkers, likes or emojis meant. And I feel like you can get really caught up trying to interpret different social media messaging and people’s behavior online and extrapolate what that means. I’m curious as somebody that is not on the socials, it what what you would say to that person, if you think that’s cause for alarm?

Unknown Speaker 16:52
So you’re saying, I want to make sure I understand the question. Somebody’s got like, a text.

Damona 17:01
No, no, dear. Okay, so she has, is in a relationship with someone and saw that he recently became Facebook friends with a co worker, and she liked one of his posts with a heart emoji, and she wants to know if that’s a red flag.

Unknown Speaker 17:27
I mean, so not knowing anything about social? I think, I think different emojis mean different things to different people. And so what’s important is context and communication. So if that coworker is giving heart emojis away, like candy, and everybody gets a heart, then it doesn’t mean anything. Um, if if not, then it might mean something, but as opposed to sort of playing detective about it. Um, I think it would be like, I think this is a place where it comes back to communication, and trust. Where if you don’t trust this person, because they got a heart emoji from a co worker, maybe that’s not the only reason why you don’t trust them. Um, and you should sort of examine that, you know, like, if someone, again, if I were on Facebook and saw that someone gave you a heart emoji, that wouldn’t bother me in any way. Because even if someone was romantically interested in you, I would trust that you wouldn’t act on it.

Damona 19:01
Someone did slide in my dm the other day, yesterday. Yeah, yeah, I was trying to hook him up with a client. And then he was like, Well, if it doesn’t work out, maybe I could take you I give I give points for effort. I could maybe we could have a drink. And I was like, Oh, I don’t think my husband would like that. But But appreciate the over but I mean, we do have also transparency like, like, I have access to your calendar, you have access to mine. You can check like even though you’re not on social media, you can check my social media like and it’s not because like, like I think people get sort of caught up in this idea of like, should you give your passwords your partner, it’s just like you said, like just being being having that level of trust, where also you can have communication around it. Where if it makes you uncomfortable, you address that because you could go way down the rabbit hole trying to try So social media sleuth and see if this girl is liking other people’s pages and posts in the same kind of emojis, it’s like you could literally make yourself crazy. Or you could just have a direct conversation with your partner and start it from a place of like, you know, it made me kind of feel uncomfortable when I saw that, is this something that I should be worried about? And not from an accusatory space? But just like, this is my reaction? You know, I, I do feel like social media puts this pressure on, on relationships that maybe shouldn’t be there, especially at the beginning, right?

Unknown Speaker 20:41
Yeah, I mean, so you’re saying, like, if for for for people in the dating pool, now, you start dating someone, and then you look at their social media history and sort of try to gauge what kind of person they are that too. I

Damona 20:58
did also have a client that next somebody because she went too deep down the Instagram, Instagram, rabbit hole, and was like, I know too much. So that’s a problem. But then also, just all of the nuances of like, when do we make it Facebook official? Or, like, if you break up with somebody, then you have to erase their existence from your social media platform? And you don’t have to worry about any of that, because you’re not on social.

Unknown Speaker 21:25
Yeah, no, I dating was sort of complicated enough for me. Just Just trying to meet so I mean, so so it’s, I’d say, I think my day, my personal dating, and then our dating story is, is interesting in that respect, in that we met online, sort of as online dating was was really beginning to move from the fringes into sort of something more More, more mainstream.

Damona 22:03
You think that really?

Unknown Speaker 22:04

Damona 22:05
I mean, there were mainstream says, We didn’t even tell people, that’s how we met when

Unknown Speaker 22:09
we first met. It was it wasn’t like, kind of, in the dark corners of the internet, like, there was There was there were like, legit sites that would advertise on TV, that it was a thing like my aunt, who, you know, was single until she was about 50, you know, would would talk about what internet dating was like, in the 90s. And that was felt like it was much more kind of the Wild West. You know, in Los Angeles, as a 24 year old, there were, you know, you, you could go online, and meet lots of different people. Mm hmm. Whereas, and they were people who were using online dating as a supplement, as opposed to kind of feeling like this was the only way that they could meet people. Mm hmm.

Damona 23:16
What made you go online?

Unknown Speaker 23:17
What made me go online? I was. I was really nervous about it. So it wasn’t it certainly did still have a stigma, at least for me. And what made me go online was that one of my best friends who, throughout high school was always sort of the alpha, the group and the ladies man. He said, You know, he told me over Christmas break, when we were sort of back in the same town. He told me that he was starting to date online. And I was like, Oh, wow. If there was no stigma for him, then maybe I should give it a try.

Damona 24:00
Yeah, I sort of had a similar experience, like my boss at the time. She, who, you know, I really looked up to and I was like, she’s got it all. And she went through this divorce. And she was like, I’m going on two days a week. It’s amazing. devono you have to get online. So I think by the time I met you, I had already been doing it for like two years. So I wasn’t that,

Unknown Speaker 24:21

Damona 24:22
I wasn’t that. I don’t know that I was nervous about it. I had a bit of a of a routine. A bit of a routine. Actually, we should tell them how we chose our first date spot. So I lived in West Hollywood, which is about 45 minutes to an hour and traffic from where Seth lived, which is Santa Monica. And we were looking for we decided to meet and we were looking for a place

Unknown Speaker 24:57
and so I’m not the most Most social guy. So, you know, it’s actually one of the reasons why internet dating, I think really worked for me that I could sort of see as opposed to meet someone at a bar and immediately kind of come up with the snappy thing to say, or the thing that’s gonna draw someone’s interest to me. You know, as a writer, I could sort of look at somebody’s profile and really think about how, what I could write to, to make them potentially interested. But because I didn’t have I wasn’t super social. You know, damona, you said that you lived in West Hollywood, and I knew one bar in West Hollywood. And so I, I floated that one.

Damona 25:52
Yeah, the problem was, that was the bar that I always took my online dates to, which you had no way of knowing. But I had this whole system, it was like, it was like a mile from my house. So it was easy for me to get there Get home safely. I knew the waiters, I knew that I knew the menu. I had this whole system down. And but I had decided like, well, maybe I need to change up my system, because it’s not working. It hasn’t worked. And then you use so I was like, I’m gonna go somewhere else. Oh, and you know, what else I used to do? I would always suggest the place. You know, I’m, I’m sort of that kind of take charge. Woman. We’re here laughing

Unknown Speaker 26:35
because it’s true. I mean, I think it’s, I think I don’t think our relationship would work particularly well. If you weren’t.

Unknown Speaker 26:47
Somebody has to. Yeah, I

Damona 26:49
guess to make the hotel reservations.

Unknown Speaker 26:50
I interesting.

Unknown Speaker 26:51
Yeah. I’m, I’m much more content to kind of, yeah. I think there’s a lot of inertia with me, like, kind of whatever direction I’m in. I’m generally content to stay in that direction. So it’s good to have someone pushing me around. In sort of, you know, in the

Unknown Speaker 27:16
meeting, can you say it me? No, but I meaning you’re

Unknown Speaker 27:20
sort of like in the in the Newtonian physics kind of way.

Damona 27:23
Like there’s so hot Newtonian physics. What?

Unknown Speaker 27:30
So, yes, short version? I think, I think your, your take, charge your, your short version, I think, your willingness and your, your desire to sort of short version, I think your desire, your short version, I think your willingness not to stay in a comfort zone, either sort of you staying in your own comfort zone, or me or our family. I think that that has been to all of our benefit.

Damona 28:13
Oh, yeah. I in a way, I look at it as my biggest gift and my biggest faults at the same time. But it’s often

Unknown Speaker 28:21
kind of the case, right?

Damona 28:24
I’m sure that there’s a quote in there that I just can’t think of right now. But, but yeah, I it’s kind of a good lesson, I think for people and in not leaning away from the things that make you you. Because I hear I had this grand plan, like I was going to shift my dating plan and I was being too assertive and always suggesting the place. So I was just gonna let let the guy choose the next guy choose and whatever happens. And then you go and say Lola’s, which is the same place that I would have picked if I was still driving the train. So it’s interesting to see how sometimes fate pushes you in the direction that you’re already going. I’ve talked on the show, but I’ve talked on the show before about how how do we really have a 5050 partnership. And in fact, I was talking with my girlfriends last night, Seth was nice enough to watch the kids while I went and had outdoor drinks with my friends. And I was saying how it really was by design, like the kind of guy that you are. And the lifestyle that we built for me was by design. I don’t know how much thought you had put into the kind of woman that you wanted to marry, and the lifestyle that you wanted to build, but I was like, they know that I’m not big into chivalry. And I’m not big into traditional gender roles. And I think for us, that worked. I actually remember visualizing, I was like, What if I could marry a writer and he could like work from home and be an equal partner in raising the kids. And it’s kind of weird that here we are. And this is, in a way, the lifestyle that we built, but how much of that was by design from your side?

Unknown Speaker 30:13
I mean, so I, you know. So from a very early age, you know, my parents made sure I knew that men and women were equal. Um, there’s this picture of me from my fourth birthday party wearing a T shirt that says men of quality, respect women’s equality. Um,

Damona 30:42
yeah, it’s so cute. You got your little glasses on this shirt is like down to the ground. But, yeah, um, your foundation?

Unknown Speaker 30:51
Yeah. So, you know, I’d say, you know, like, I some of the big arguments I’d get into with single friends before I met Dimona, or about, like, should guys be expected to pay on the first date? What is the morality involved in engagement rings? Like sort of those

Damona 31:18
have these conversations with your friends?

Unknown Speaker 31:20
You guys talk about those things? It was a mix of guys and girls. Well, really? Yeah. I mean, I think because I would, sort of, you know, I remember reading a book about diamonds and sort of the diamond trade and kind of the, the, the, both the ways in which diamonds are problematic now and the and the ways in which De Beers And particularly, and the ways in which two beers in particular, sort of built an engagement ring business out of nothing. And so, you know, I was talking about that, and how it, you know, like, engagement rings are silly. And here’s all the reasons why it’s, it’s sort of, and it was, you know, it’s a subject that people have strong feelings about, that people have. Some people really cling to some people have really dreamed of the day that someone will get down on their knee and propose to them for a long time. And I’m, and having people question, why that is important. is, uh, you know, I think can spark spark argument.

Damona 32:56
Yeah, for sure. And I remember, even I gave you a maximum amount to spend on my ring. I was like, I will feel uncomfortable. cuz sometimes if it’s too big, it’s like, What are you trying to prove? And I just didn’t feel comfortable? Like, even I didn’t feel comfortable with you even spending that much of your salary on it. What do they say? It’s like, like two months salaries?

Unknown Speaker 33:16
Well, so so it’s in America? Yes. That’s what they say sort of debeers has done market research for different countries. And so in different countries, it’s different percentages. I forget exactly. What where it’s a larger percentage, and where it’s a smaller percentage, but in the United States to beer says you should spend two months salary on on your engagement, right?

Damona 33:42
Yeah, what actually, that might be about what is fun. But

Unknown Speaker 33:47
I mean, that it was really one of the there was a moral dilemma for me. Whether, you know, I felt like I was going to conform to society, and by you an engagement frame, which for me, had a lot of complicated symbolism, intertwined with that. You know, and ultimately, it was a case where I knew it was something that was important to you.

Damona 34:21
Yeah, well, not even so much because of the diamonds are they investment? It’s, it’s because what it represents to people outside your relationship as well, right.

Unknown Speaker 34:33
So that’s never something that I felt sort of pressure that that’s never something that I felt I never felt, Oh, okay. With this ring on her finger, then people will take this relationship seriously. But I completely honor the fact that you know, that women often oftentimes get very different social signals than men do. And

Damona 35:05
you’re kind of speaking in a code.

Unknown Speaker 35:08
What I’m just saying, the fact that for you this ring was important, and and sort of meant something to you means, and the fact that it didn’t mean something to me, I don’t want to in any way, say, you know, oh, you know, I want to honor the fact that that’s those that that’s those were the pressures and, and feelings that you were feeling.

Damona 35:33
Yes. And I’ve been asked before, because we did a show on a woman who engaged who got who, we did a show before a woman who proposed to her, her fiance, and there were a lot of big feelings from listeners on that episode. And a lot of people were really against that idea and, and also really fight back on, on a lot of the concepts I say about women taking control of their dating destiny. And so people have asked me, well, would you? Why didn’t you propose? Because, you know, it took a while we knew each other three years before we got engaged, which in today’s time is it’s a long time, I know, we were gone? Well, you

Unknown Speaker 36:21
know, I think, you know, I think, depending on three years, when you’re in your mid 20s, feels like an appropriate length of time. For me, I think three years, if you’re sort of really trying to figure out if you want to have a child with this person, and your, your, there’s a real clock on on that, then three years is a much longer time, you know, but also, I had friends who dated all four years of college, and then broke up afterwards. And, you know, for years, you know, it would have been a mistake if they had gotten married after four years. So

Damona 37:05
you really wanted to be ready. Hmm.

Unknown Speaker 37:08
I mean, you were the first woman who I really dated. Um, and so there was, I think, a sense of is, is this real love? Or is this sort of it would? Would I be feeling these feelings with a different woman? And, and it took me a while to sort of really feel confident that the answer is going to be no.

Damona 37:40
How do you sort through that as a guy, or as a human, I guess? I mean,

Unknown Speaker 37:45
I think part of it is understanding what love feels like to me. And I mean, I, so I’m a writer, and, and, you know, write for TV, and think a lot about the messages that popular culture sends to people, both positive messages and more problematic messages. And I think I consumed a lot of I mean, I, as a child, I consumed a lot of television. And the idea of love that was presented to me in those was a sort of idea where love is sort of this all consuming emotion, where you are always, like, giddy when you’re with someone, and, um, and despondent when you’re away from them. And that, that wasn’t how I felt with you. But what I realized was, that wasn’t because you weren’t the love of my life. It was because I had been fed a, an incorrect idea of what love is.

Damona 39:10
So what would you say love is now

Unknown Speaker 39:12
I think love is it has a lot to do with trust for me, and lack of judgment to some extent, like I trust you completely. Um, and I know that you will sort of approach me at all times with no judgment. And I think that, for me, is is is what love is. And it doesn’t have to do with Kind of, yeah, just just being miserable. When that person isn’t next to you.

Damona 40:05
Yeah, I think that’s an important to, to remember, you know, and I often say on the show, you have to have your own life, right you have to be, you have to be whole independently, but then better together. And then I also talk about this curiosity that is really what fuels long term love. Even though I didn’t pay you to say trust, that is one of one of the pillars of long term compatibility, trust and respect and, and communication, conflict resolution, shared values and common goals for the future. So I feel like we have those four things, certainly in spades, but this curiosity is something that I really try to, to encourage the listeners to develop when they’re dating, because that was the thing like, I wasn’t sure where it was headed, you know, by date three, but I knew that I was really curious about you. And I wanted to understand you more and know how your brain works. And I feel like that’s something that really fuels fuels me to still get butterflies. Like, when I know that we’re, we have a date planned, you know, I’ll plan now quarantine, I’ll plan dates, you know, two weeks out. Because I’m, I’m, I want to continue to keep that curiosity and that anticipation alive. I don’t know how much anticipation you felt in the last eight or nine months. But that’s been my experience.

Unknown Speaker 41:44

Unknown Speaker 41:46
That’s, it’s been the last. So yeah, eight, eight months. It’s been, it’s been tricky. Um, it has been. It’s, it’s it, I think, part of it a large part of it, for me, is the way in which I’m family life has completely dominated my life in a way that I don’t think it ever has before. That just, we are around each other, every day. And so we, as a family are figuring out ways to, to kind of live with each other. You know. And I think partly because the relationship you and I have is very solid. That that’s the one where, you know, it’s so comforting to know. Okay, that is fine. And

Damona 43:08
it’s really effortless. And then dealing with our kids, is where we have to put so much more mental energy and tap down so much more.

Unknown Speaker 43:19
Yeah, because I mean, they’re with each other 24 seven, and sort of it, which is a much different relationship than, you know, being a brother or a sister to somebody before school after school and on weekends. Yeah, it’s, um, there’s a lot more to it when you’re with another kid. All the time. And there’s so much more conflict. And, you know, we’re learning a lot about our kids and learning a lot about our parenting styles. Um, but yeah, it’s it’s been a lot. It’s been it’s been hard.

Damona 44:07
Yeah. And I’m sure for like, if anyone listening is in a relationship and it’s not that smooth like, a I can only imagine what that experience is like with your partner if you have that kind of struggle with them day in and day out. Because it’s, I mean, it’s literally a daily struggle with our kids. And you experience it that way. But, but I but I do, I love being with them. And I love I love that I can watch them learn and I feel like there were a lot of moments like when I was working as a TV exec. I felt like I missed so many moments with our daughter. And that was really hard as a mom to not be there when I don’t think I was there for like her first words or first steps. I think I missed all of that and she was in daycare or with the nanny and I made a deliberate choice to pursue this as a career path. And you’ve been unbelievably supportive of me, of me growing this, this business and this podcast and, and my brand, which I really like, don’t, I don’t think I could have done it without the support. But anyways, I know, I want to get all emotional point is that I made a very deliberate choice to, to make sure I was a hands on parent. And, but I couldn’t have seen this coming. The whole other paradigm. How do you suggest, like, based on what you, you know, now and what we’ve been through? How do you suggest that people keep the magic alive? In a time like this? Because we may be in this for quite a few more months?

Unknown Speaker 45:58
Yeah, I’m like, so I think part of me wants to know a little bit more about magic. Like, I guess, I, this is gonna be this sort of like, technocratic version of me that, that I think sometimes you, you roll your eyes up a little bit. But like, to me, nothing is about it is magic. Like, it’s, it’s dedicated attention, like, it’s choices. And so, I mean, I think, what, like, if the question is, what is what can you do during a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy? Um, I mean, I, I don’t know that it’s much different than what you need to do outside of a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy. I think, you know, the first thing is, and you spoke about is, is communication, and, and telling your partner what you need, and being open to hearing from your partner what they need. And I think, you know, for us, you and I need very, very different things.

Damona 47:33
Oh, I want to hear what you think. How you see that? Definitely,

Unknown Speaker 47:38
I think, for your sanity, you need to work out, one thing that you need is, is either to do yoga, or to hop on the peloton, or to do you know, a zoom session with your trainer, like, the minus that. You

Damona 48:02
I’m a raving lunatic.

Unknown Speaker 48:04
You’re just you need it your your mind and your body needs that to function at its best. And I think for me, I need I need some amount of quiet time and space to to just settle myself with and quiet time and space is difficult in a house with a very active six year old and a 10 year old and zoom school and you know, and so, so yeah, I’d say that is the thing. For me like for you. I think moving your body is the thing that calms you, I think for me, like almost like sensory deprivation is is something that calms me.

Damona 49:09
Yeah, that’s interesting. I actually was going to say, Yes, you’re right, moving my body. That’s like number one. But I was going to say, actually the same thing that I I really need space. And I need a certain level of freedom as well. And I just sometimes, because I think there’s like this feeling that if you’re in you know, we’re recording this year in my studio, which is like separated from the house, and it’s sort of my sanctuary in my quiet place. But if I’m in here, I’m on the grind. I am working. Like there’s no downtime in here. So that that’s the space that I feel like has has disintegrated in the past. dynamic of the just quiet, alone, you know, contemplative planning time. But it’s interesting. I mean, I knew that about you, obviously, that you need, you need the space and that we really, we really problem solve in different ways. But being able to, like, understand what your partner needs. And for me, I always, I’m always like, careful in how I phrased this because I do take care of my own needs. But I almost think of you first, I almost think of your needs before mine. And making sure that you’re, that you’re happy you’re taking care of your your needs are met. If I haven’t done that, like, it just feels selfish to me to just take Does that make sense?

Unknown Speaker 50:51
Yeah, I mean, so I think there’s a similar Tell me if you think this is a similar dynamic. But I think, like, if you asked me, who sort of does more for the house? I think I’d say you? And I think sort of, and I think you might say me, definitely,

Unknown Speaker 51:19
well, especially right now.

Unknown Speaker 51:21
So I mean, and I think that’s part of it, I think, you know, that is one of for me, it’s not something I would have necessarily latched on to before I was in a sort of committed equal relationship. But the if both sides are feeling like, they need to do more than that, you’re probably in a pretty good place. Because they’re in a relationship.

Damona 51:50
Mm hmm. And even the same thing, I tell people on dates, like when I would do mock dates, and I would evaluate, and I have mock data that would go on a date with my client, and then they’d have a list of, of qualities or behaviors that they were sort of evaluating them on. And then we would download after and one of the qualities is how much do you feel like you were talking? That was that’s what I would ask, ask my clients. And I would have the the mock data, evaluate how much the person was actually talking in their opinion. And they’d always feel like, Oh, I was doing, I was doing more listening. And I’m always trying to push people more towards listening. And inevitably, the ratio was would always be fifth flipped, my client would say, Oh, I was I was listening 30 I was listening 70% of the time, and I was talking 30% of the time in the mock data would say, No, they were talking 70% of the time. So you know, it’s always trying to find that balance. But if you’re giving more than if you feel like you’re giving more than you’re taking, you’re probably in a good place. But you know, there are people also that are constant givers that sometimes give too much away. So, you know, obviously, take this advice with a grain of salt, because you have to find the right balance for you and your partner. And I think that’s really, what, what I think the big I don’t know, theme of our relationship is his balance. Like, we’re always, we’re like, so there are times when you’re really busy with work, or you’re on set, and I have to be more present with the kids. And then there are times like last eight months that I’ve been insanely busy, and that you’ve been able to step up more. And you know, there are times when when we really need to like even just dealing with our families like there are times when you’re better at dealing with my mom than I am. And I need your support in that way. But we’re always checking in things like pretty much on a daily basis we check in and are like, how are you doing? Yeah. And I think it’s like flossing, which I finally have mastered. Finally got the, the thumbs up from my hygenist like I finally done it. But like flossing, it’s like a daily practice that you have to be doing with your partner to make sure that you’re still on the same page and, and not headed in different different directions. So thank you. Any final words of wisdom or things, tidbits of embarrassing pieces of information you’d like to share about me? Or?

Unknown Speaker 54:33
Um, I? I don’t think I have any embarrassing information. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t want to share it. You’re so sweet. Um, no, it’s it’s lovely being on the show. I mean, in some ways, it’s, it’s great just to be able to have a conversation with you and know that we’re not going to get interrupted by the Kids. Like it’s just been lovely talking to you. Well,

Unknown Speaker 55:06
thank you.

Damona 55:07
Thank you for sharing my birthday with me. And also, I look forward to our birthday getaway. Even in the middle of a pandemic, you can still find time to be solo as a couple. So thank you. This has been Episode Number 337 of dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials and we are collecting new questions for the next dear demona episode, I humbly and somewhat forcefully ask you to please if you send me a question, I want to hear your voice, you can hear my voice all the time, I want to hear yours, why not send it to me in a voice memo on Instagram, you can just follow me at damona Hoffman, and then literally hit the little voice memo button. And then I will be able to hear your voice and we will be able to put it on the show. Or you can give me a call at 424-246-6255. Of course, if you’re shy, you can always email me. But I really encourage you to share your voice with the rest of this community and to share your question because I’m sure whatever you’re feeling whatever you’re going through right now, there is someone else listening to this podcast at this very moment who is thinking and feeling the same thing. So be unafraid to share your story and to get help and love and you might help someone else. For those of you who are newer to the show who might not know there’s a way for you to get in the inside circle. We have a Patreon Friends with Benefits group. And there’s so many benefits for joining this for just $5. You can of course support the show and help us continue to make this show free for so many people who need this love advice. But you’ll also get access. But you’ll also get access to my exclusive Facebook group and my weekly Facebook Lives where I do a behind the mic, talk back on everything that I learned from each episode that week. And what else I heard that maybe didn’t get into the show. And I can also answer your questions. Plus, we have tons of bonus content and library content from dates and mates. I’ve been doing the show for eight seasons, y’all eight years of dates and mates. So what you can see on Apple podcast or on Spotify or on Stitcher is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more inside if you sign slash dates and mates. And speaking of all the pop. And speaking of all the podcast platforms that you’re listening on, don’t forget to leave us a review. And I’m just going to leave that part out because it’s just getting too long. But maybe we can put that in somewhere else. Until next week. As I mentioned we will be back with a another dear Dimona q&a episode. I’d love to hear your questions. Until then. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

The Sadie Hawkins Effect & Still Single


We have officially crossed into what Americans call “turkey season” and singles across the country start preparing themselves for the awkward conversations with family and friends.

Whether it’s your mom, your friend’s grandma, or a really bad first date, they all want to know: ‘Why are you still single?”

Our guest this week has plenty of experience with this tricky conversation and some advice on how to move past it.

Monique Kelley, author and love expert behind “Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA” joins Damona to celebrate singlehood.

But first, let’s dish:


Showing Gratitude

The best way to show gratitude, according to Darwin. Damona weighs in.

Divorce at a 50 -Year Low

Some good news: Divorce hit a record low. Damona explains why.

Role Reversal

What is The Sadie Hawkins Effect and what does it have to do with your love life?


Monique Kelly and Damona discuss embracing singlehood. 

Check out Monique’s new book, Reality in Chaos


Unknown Speaker 0:00
Hello lovers,

Damona 0:01
we have officially crossed over into what Americans call turkey season and singles across the country start preparing themselves for the awkward conversations with family and friends. Whether it’s your mom, your grandma, your friends, Grandma, or a really bad day, they all want to know, why are you still single? Doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re past the age of 18, and you have a pulse, someone has probably asked you this question. My guest today has plenty of experience with this tricky conversation, and some advice on how to move past it. Monique Kelley is an author and the love expert behind Confessions of a serial dater in LA. And she’ll be joining me in just a minute to celebrate singlehood. But first, as always, we have headlines. The best way to show your partner gratitude, according to Darwin, and the new stats on divorce are in and it’s not what you expect. Plus, what is the Sadie Hawkins effect? And what does it have to do with your love life? Oh, that and more on today’s dates and maids? Are you ready to do this dish? We all know that gratitude is a very important part of your friendships and your relationships. But did you know that there is a proper way to show gratitude if you really want your partner to feel like you appreciate them. There was a new psychological study that investigated the best way to say thank you. And they’ve offered some tips on how to strengthen romantic relationships. Of course, when we even look at, I’m often comparing dating to what’s happening in the animal kingdom. And when we look at primates, we see that a chimpanzee, for example, is more likely to share its food with another animal who groomed them, or help them out in the past. So we may be far evolved from that point. But we have to, we have to look back at our, our evolutionary ancestors to see where some of these, these traits that we’ve developed really begin. So there’s a way that you can express that you’re really grateful, like maybe you’re not picking bugs out of your partner’s hair,

like a chimp might be, but maybe your partner like drops you off at the office, and you say something like, I wouldn’t have made it to the meeting on time, if you didn’t drop me off at the office today. And so that a statement like that produced the most positive response from a partner when they studied this in the lab. But it didn’t matter what the tone was, you know, I’m often saying like, the context, the body language, this was so much more the content of what they were saying. It was all about making that other person feeling valued, and get this included in their partner’s goals. So the more the the person receiving the praise, felt the gratitude towards their relationship, the more likely they were to say that they felt appreciated and bonded with their partner. You don’t want to go the route of saying something about your partner sacrifice, reminding them of what they’ve sacrificed. So if you flip that and said, Well, I know it was a hassle for you to drop me off at my office during rush hour. That’s not as effective as a form of praise, but gratitude. It’s it’s been a virtue for so many generations. And even in the past couple of decades, there’s they’ve been accumulating more evidence that shows that this emotion really plays an important role in our society. That’s actually what what researchers call the find remind bind theory. And it essentially says that expressing gratitude is evolutionarily advantageous because it reinforces bonds between humans. I know we’re all looking for bonds, right? And how, and we have to rely on each other to get through this really challenging time. Which brings me to our next story. We got some good news, divorce is at a 50 year low. I couldn’t believe this research because I had seen some early stats out of the original lockdown in COVID, out of China that showed that they saw a huge number of new divorces being filed, like in March and April. But now when we’re looking at the US divorce rate, we’re seeing that more people are actually staying together. Now this this study looked at census data, and they posit this theory that because now people are meeting online, you’ve heard me say this before we’re meeting more appropriate matches. So instead of matching someone out of convenience, out of the fact that they live in your neighborhood, or they go to your church or your mom knows them, you’re finding someone that’s matching you on many, many different levels and that creates more satisfaction in the relationship. Of course, your partner can be your everything. You can’t look for them to complete you on every level. But you can have more in common and you can find a more appropriate match. And you’re a match maybe somewhere else across the city or even across the country. I’m curious to see what happens when we get vaccines when we’re able to return to regular life. I wonder if we’re actually going to see a bit of a rebound in this divorce. This divorce number, no pun intended, because I feel like also a lot of people are staying together out of convenience. I mean, there’s so much uncertainty in the world right now. And not knowing if you’re going to be able to make ends meet, even if you cannot stand your partner, I don’t know that you would step out and take that risk right now. It just seems to me like it would be too great with all the other factors to consider for so many people. But hey, I’m I want love to win. So it is my hope that the divorce rate is really going to stay down. And when we look at even more recent marriages for every 1000 marriages in the last year, only 14.9% ended in divorce. So that’s why I’m going to cut that partly because that sounds like what you expect people to break up in a year. Okay. But I’m encouraged by.

But I’m encouraged by these numbers. And divorce in America has been falling fast in recent years. This is I think, the third decade in a row that we’ve seen a drop in divorce numbers. So I certainly hope as a believer in love that it’s because we’re matching with better partners in the first place. As we’re talking about matching, I have to give you the Psychology Today study on reversal of dating roles. So I said at the top of the show, say it’s the Sadie Hawkins effect. Do you guys remember the Sadie Hawkins day, which actually just fell last week? Traditionally, it’s observed on November 13. But at my school, we had a Sadie Hawkins dance. And that was the one time that women were encouraged and required to invite their dates to the dance. And it really flipped the it flipped the norm. And it put women also a little bit more in control of what was happening in their love life. So I you know, I’ve been I’ve been on this female lead tip for a while. But it turns out, it turns out that the way we feel about gender roles is not as biological as we think. It’s actually so much related it sorry. It’s actually related strongly to our society, and the prevailing stereotypes that we have on what roles men should play what roles women should play. Check this out. This article in Psychology Today, which we’ll link to in the show notes, written by a fellow named Gary Lee Wen Tao ski, who I’m hoping we can get on the show in 2021. They looked at speed dating, right? And you know, and speed dating, there is one gender traditionally, in heterosexual speed dating, there’s one gender that sits and the other gender, the options rotate through, and then you have like three to five minutes to get to know one another. And then you move on to the next person. Well, what happened was when women were sitting and the men were coming to them, even just in a, in a sort of controlled environment, like a speed date, the women were much more picky about who they said yes to who they would want to meet and go out with again. So some speed dating companies flipped this. And when women were the ones to get up and circulate, they were far more open. And they said yes, to far more people. And I actually did do a speed dating event, before I met my husband. And that was the case. We, we were the one circulating and I was like, I don’t want to do this in my high heels.

Unknown Speaker 9:33
This is too much work. Why

Damona 9:34
can’t you just let the lady sit? But when I understand it now, from this perspective, I love that. Hopefully it was designed to challenge these gender norms, and also to get people to just open up their criteria a little bit more. Because I do see on dating apps, men swipe right far more often than women. I’m always having to talk clients. hints into being a little bit less discerning upfront because we’re we’re trying to guess what people are about, just based on a couple of pictures. So the lesson here is to see if, if you can just be a little bit more open, what might happen and if you might, in some way, be able to challenge the gender norms in your relationship or your dating life. Because so much of it is programmed by, by media, by cultural norms by our parents. And you really don’t have to live your life that way anymore. If that’s not how you want to live it. Well, we’re going to give you some more advice on how to live your life your way because we’re going to be talking about embracing singlehood with Monique Kelly, the author and creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA so don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

I am here with Monique Kelly. She is the high powered Hollywood player and blogger behind the popular site Confessions of a serial dater in LA, as well as cocktails and confessions. She initially chronicled the trials and travails of her post divorced dating life anonymously, until she stepped out from behind the keyboard and revealed her identity to a huge following that she had built over the years. And she created a phenomenon among Single Ladies in LA. We have been circling around each other. And we have very similar life path. And I’m so glad that we were able to bring ourselves here together today. So please help me give big smooches to my new friend Monique Kelly. I’m so happy to have you here.

Unknown Speaker 12:03
I’m so excited. I’m so excited.

Damona 12:06
We need to give the single folks some hope, hope in the era of COVID. Especially,

Unknown Speaker 12:12

Damona 12:13
I’m just I’m just gonna level with everybody. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people, I’m all about dating apps and getting out there and doing the dang thing. And a lot of people have been telling me Dimona, I’m really, I’m really feeling the pressure and maybe this is a little bit too much. And to those people I’ve said, this maybe isn’t your season for dating right now at this very moment. And what I love about what you do at cocktails and confessions, in addition to giving dating advice, you also talk about embracing your single dumb.

Unknown Speaker 12:47
Yes. Can you talk

Damona 12:48
to us first about your journey of how you came to that place of embracing your single dumb yourself?

Unknown Speaker 12:55
Oh Dimona, it was it was not an easy journey. You know, a lot of times people think it happens overnight. So for me, like most women, you get to your late 20s Dimona, all your friends around, you are getting married and you start putting this unnecessary pressure on yourself. For me, it wasn’t for my family. My family was like do you boo, you know, whatever works for you works for you. So at that point, I got into this thing where I was like, I need to be married by the time I’m a certain age, and met my now ex husband, we got married and the marriage just it just was not right for either one of us. And it’s one of those things where I never like to say it was all him or was all he was both of us. We just weren’t right for each other. So I found myself back in the dating scene. And it was really, really difficult getting back into the dating scene. It was scary. And then there were so many dates. So as you know, I started off with my blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA before I started doing the cocktails and confessions of it. But what I found was during this time, I had to learn how to be okay with exactly where I was in the journey, not putting unnecessary pressure on myself learning how to embrace me exactly where I was at that time. And also, when that dreaded question comes up. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re successful, how is it that you’re still single learning that that’s not a personal attack? And just learning how to work through that process?

Damona 14:27
What do you do when you get that question? I know a lot of our listeners have heard that. And it’s I think it’s the still that stings. It’s like why are you still single as if you’ve been working? cannot figure it out.

Unknown Speaker 14:41
What would you say to that? You know, we

Damona 14:43
have the holidays coming up, and maybe people are gonna be hearing this from their families.

Unknown Speaker 14:49
It’s it’s definitely you know, when people ask that question, I don’t think they understand this thing of like you said the still because it insinuates that you’re it’s something you’re not doing or something you’re doing wrong and with a lot of women and men who are single, they’re putting themselves out there. But people aren’t being consistent. They’re not meeting the right people. They’re getting ghosted. They’re getting love bombed, there’s a lot going on during that time. So when I get that question, I’m just like, you know what, I’m dating everybody when I was single, you know, have a boyfriend now. But I, you know, I’m dating everybody, I’m enjoying this time, like, I’m having fun, and not the fake living my best life, but just like, I’m actually Okay, you know, being where I am right now. And just figuring things out and enjoying life. And when you say like that people typically. Okay, I understand. And then I’ll say, but if you have something for me, feel free to let me know. I’m open to taking applications. So you know, you’re still open to the possibility.

Damona 15:46
I love that you phrased in that way, because I was just talking to a client yesterday, who was saying, she doesn’t want to let her friends know that she’s single, like, she feels awkward even even acknowledging that you’re open and you’re looking continues to compound those feelings of I call it single shame.

Unknown Speaker 16:08
Yeah. See? Yes, that is so true. And that’s why, you know, I always talk about a lot of times, it’s important that you have a circle of confidentiality. Okay. What does that mean? The circle confidentiality, that’s where I say it’s two friends, two of them, that you can really talk to about what you’re really feeling to people you can trust, who you know, have your best interests at heart. And you can let it out to them and you can get it out. I think for a lot of times, when you’re single, people catch you during your dating, depression moments where you’re wrong, and you’re talking about how hard it is to be single, and they want the best for you. And then they start giving you all these suggestions, all these ideas of what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Like you don’t know how to date. And a lot of times, if you’re not in a place to hear that it can just be painful. So I always like to tell singles to have that small circle of girlfriends. That too, I always say to keep it to keep it a trifecta the three of you, that you can talk to, so that when you’re around other people, you can kind of just not have to go to that dark place that sometimes sticks with you later on when you’re past it.

Damona 17:21
Yeah, that’s so smart. And also, like, I remember when I was single, I was very choosy about how, who I would go out with I know we’re not going out as much in COVID times, but still happening a little bit and I wouldn’t want to go out with my girlfriends I was going to be fighting with over a man. I just never wanted that. Yeah, sure those two breads are a completely different type.

Unknown Speaker 17:46
Exactly. That’s so funny. It’s so funny because I’ve never had that issue with my girlfriends. We all have such different types of men, or some of them are married or in relationships. So we’ve always been good but that’s so that’s a good point to mono because we both like the same type. You’re both single, all back the problem. Yeah, I’ve

Damona 18:06
had I’ve had some serious, serious falling outs fallings out, also over what I consider girl code. Now, feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I’m sure some listeners will say that.

Unknown Speaker 18:19
I’m wrong about this.

Damona 18:21
But I kind of feel like if you’ve dated someone, I just feel like girl code like your your girlfriend shouldn’t then go and pick up your sloppy seconds. I don’t care if it’s been five years or 10 years. How many guys are there out there that you need to be dating my ex man?

Unknown Speaker 18:41
I have a caveat to that. Because if you were not close if it’s a if it’s one of your girls, it’s one day but if it happens to be a girl that you just know in passing, and you guys you know you know of each other, but you guys aren’t girlfriends. I think that’s the caveat. If you’ve been home girls with someone that’s your girl, you guys have each other’s cell phone numbers in your phone. You guys talk you guys have texted that is like absolutely not because why would you want to be with a guy who your friend knows you guys go to parties together. They’re looking at you and they know everything about your man, everything everything.

Damona 19:19
I think it’s weird, but I don’t know. My husband told me that I was too petty. Like I still won’t mind some of those figs. God, I’ve been married. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and I’m like, I still won’t talk to that lady.

Unknown Speaker 19:33
You’re married.

Damona 19:35
She broke my trust.

Unknown Speaker 19:37
It’s over. It’s a wrap.

Unknown Speaker 19:39
All right, I’ll get over it is one

Damona 19:43
thing to worry about. And you have so many additional tips on how people can really move forward in confidence in their singlehood right now you have a philosophy where you say date yourself as if what does that mean? Monique?

Unknown Speaker 19:58
This is so important because A lot of times women and men, they feel like they need to wait to do certain things until they’re in a relationship. You do not have to wait you’re already are in a relationship with yourself. So dating yourself as if Okay, if you want to have a romantic picnic on the beach with your potential boom in the future, why do you have to wait? take yourself out to the beach, pack yourself a beautiful picnic, get the layout right have a fabulous if you want to do a great meal at home, cook that meal, perfect that recipe learn how to do that go to your favorite restaurant, socially distance, obviously, take yourself out to dinner. Because what happens is when you start dating yourself as if you start putting out a different energy, because it’s not there’s there’s a spirit of desperation sometimes, and you’re putting everything on meeting someone else. So when you are living your life, again, not the living my best life fake living. But really living and being in the moment, dating yourself as if we’ll put a different energy out there so that when you attract your mate, you already have it perfected, you will already have that recipe perfected you will already know what blanket you want to use for the beach picnic, you would have already done it and it will be special and you will appreciate it more when you have to me because you did it by yourself too.

Damona 21:18
I love that. And actually, I’ll I’ll reveal another little tidbit about myself.

Unknown Speaker 21:27
Petey one,

Damona 21:28
I was working with a coach before I met my husband when I was single. I’m not a dating coach, because I don’t even think that existed then. But I was working with a life coach. And she was like, I think you’re afraid of being alone. Like I used. I used to see people eating at restaurants by themselves. And I’d be like, Oh, that’s so sad. I can’t believe that person has no one to eat with. And I my schedule was booked like sunup to sundown with some kind of meetings or Hangouts, I was always with somebody else. And she said, You need to get comfortable being by yourself. And she did exactly what you’re recommending Mike, she said, I want you to do at the time we call that artists states. But figure out like what, what makes you tick, figure out what you enjoy on your own without having to go along with a friend or do something for a man just do it for you. Yeah. And she said, also do something that scares you and make sure you book it in your calendar. As if you have an appointment with another person. And because that’s always the time, the self care time the dating as if dating yourself as if time. That’s always the first thing that’s going to fall off when a man calls or you know, your girlfriend calls or whatever. Yeah, so I had to book the time in my calendar, as if I was going out with another person and force myself to like, go to the museum, take myself to the movies, be one of those awkward people sitting in the restaurant. But it just gave me so much confidence in myself and understanding. I didn’t even realize how much other people’s interests and goals were affecting what I would do with my day. And when I had that day to figure out what do I want to do? It totally changed me. It is so true. dimana. I

Unknown Speaker 23:18
mean, I was the same way. I you know, shortly after my divorce, my coping mechanism was traveling, I was going everywhere. And I was meeting up with friends for happy hours just staying out of the house as much as possible and not spending time with my by myself. What happens is people get scared of those thoughts that come in, and one, you know, wonder how they’re going to deal with them. If you don’t deal with those thoughts. At a certain point, they will come up at the most inopportune time when you don’t want them to come up when you’re not ready for them to come up. So it forces you to do that. And also, like you said, it forces you to be comfortable being by yourself. Mm hmm.

Damona 23:57
I’ve also heard you say that it’s okay to admit when you’re having a down single moment. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 24:03
yes. That mean, what

Unknown Speaker 24:05
does that look like?

Unknown Speaker 24:06
That’s important, okay, because someone I don’t know where it has been said, I’m sure you’ll agree with us that when you admit that you’re having a moment where you you’re over being single, you’re over being by yourself that that means you are less of a powerful, strong woman, that your strength is diminished. I don’t know where that myth came from. But it’s time for it to end. admitting to yourself that sometimes this game of dating, the struggle of dating, this being by yourself being disappointed waiting for the right person. Sometimes it just sucks and sometimes you just are over it. And that is okay to admit to yourself. It’s okay to have that moment. It’s okay to take a moment to cry, scream and just be like, when is it gonna happen? It’s okay. You have those moments. That’s when you journal. Write up everything you’re thinking about. I think love to tell people to make sure that you are journaling and writing because there’s something about taking it from here writing it out and reading it that makes it tangible. That’s when you go to your confidentiality circle of girlfriends that circle of to, to talk to, that’s when you sit uncomfortable by yourself, and allow yourself to have that moment of, okay, where where did I come from? Where am I now where I want to go and just sit with it. It’s so important. And it’s okay to admit sometimes that you’re over it, it will pass that moment is going to pass, but you have to allow yourself to have it for it to pass.

Damona 25:37
Yeah, and I certainly have heard this before, from listeners and from clients. Like I’m even thinking of a male client who had this experience, we were doing the profile. This is, this is one of my first clients many, many years ago. And, and he was going out and he was like getting all excited for dates. And sometimes it worked out and then sometimes it wouldn’t get three dates in and then she dumps him and he was just like, I’m exhausted. What do I do to Mona and I was like, just stop. And he was like, what, this is so counterintuitive. This is against everything you’ve said, you said do the process, do the steps, keeps showing up. And I was like, but if you’re in this place where you’re feeling burnout, nothing good is going to come of you pushing through burnout and continuing to show up on dates and be you know, halfway in and halfway out. Just stop. But what I have people do I wonder what you think about this? I have people set a date, that they’re going to go back into it or at least reevaluate. So yeah. Okay, I’m going to take a one month break, I’m going to take these apps off my phone, get out of the rat race, date myself as if, and then starting, whatever December 1, we’re going to we’re going to look at how we can do this again.

Unknown Speaker 26:52
That is the key because I’ve heard a lot of people say, you know, they go through a disappointment, whether not even just a breakup, but a disappointment or dating depression, and they’re just like, you know what, I’m gonna stop dating for six months. I’m like, stop making these proclamations. It doesn’t make sense. You don’t need to wait six months, but to your point, you stop. And then you do need to put a date. I love that Dimona where you get back in there because there’s nothing cute and there’s nothing grand in reflective about sitting in something for months at a time. Yeah. What does that accomplishing? Just sitting?

Damona 27:27
I’m laughing because I’m a listener back in January, I was going to do my 30 day dating playbook program. And she texted me she was like, Okay, I’m really excited. I’m totally on board. I’m, I’m diving back in. And then she like, hit one of those walls that you’re talking about? And she said, No, actually, no, I’m done with dating. I decided I’m swearing off men for you want to know, it’s super funny. Monique, he met her messaged me like a month later and was like, actually, I’m in the most serious relationship of my life. We like make these proclamations. And it’s, and it doesn’t, it doesn’t serve us, I think to just project into the future, like you have to be in the moment. How do you feel right now? I don’t feel like dating. Okay, then don’t then don’t do it. Yeah, you can’t stay in that state indefinitely. And that’s why I say have the date that at least you’re going to come back and like I’m talking a month I’m not talking about

Unknown Speaker 28:29
good luck with that.

Unknown Speaker 28:31
Right? Crazy.

Damona 28:36
breakups. And I want to talk about that a little bit. Because I know some people are in this space, sometimes not by choice, sometimes because they were in a toxic relationship that they had to get out of. And then those have threads, those have residual effects that can impact our comfort level being single, or even the next relationship that we enter into what do you think about those, those situations that some of our listeners might be finding themselves in?

Unknown Speaker 29:05
Oh, yeah. That’s, that’s real toxic relationships are real. So the first thing is, you have to let go of the relationship. What a lot of my followers I find a lot of them more than you would even care to admit because and this is a fact. They stay in those toxic relationships after the relationship is over. Meaning, especially right now, during COVID. They will, you know, the person might reach out, test out the water see if you’re gonna respond to the text message. And then if you’re having a moment where you’re feeling you know, a little what’s the word I’m trying to be PG or horny daytime TV. So you know you have that moment of being horny being lonely, you’re having that data depression moment and then you have This toxic relationship where someone has shown you who they are, and you continue to let them back in continuously thinking, I’m just gonna keep dealing with them. And when I meet someone, I’ll stop dealing with them, you’re blocking that energy. So the first thing is you have to end that toxic relationship really ended. I’m talking about unfriend, delete block, unless you have kids with person, but be finished with it. Once you get to that place, I talked about reflecting. so important to reflect, you have to think about the relationship that you were in, you have to think about those moments that you didn’t like how you were in that moment, those moments how you didn’t like how that person treated you how they made you feel what triggered you? What were some of the things that they said to you? Or did you that triggered you to be someone that you didn’t like to be someone that you step outside of yourself and have that moment where you kind of have that out of body experience, you come back in your life? What was I thinking? What made you get attracted to that person. And again, I talk about writing all this down, you write it down, you read it, you say it out loud. And then I have the ceremony you do where you write it all down, you rip it up. Either you go to a beach and you put you know in a little fire and let it burn. Or you rip it up and make sure it you know paper, eco friendly paper that dissolves throw it in the water have that moment that tangible moment where you see those bad memories, you rip it up and you let it go. Also, therapy depending on how toxic the relationship was, you might need to go into therapy. And the beautiful thing about therapy is you end up going for one thing and you realize, wow, I had all this other stuff, which made me in this relationship. So once you get through that past part I talked about manifesting. You do vision boards in the beginning of the year, I talked about doing romance boards where you write you know rip out pictures and sayings and phrases of what you want your love life to look like, what you want that man to look like how you want him to treat you what are some of those key components that you need in a relationship that’s important to you write it out, have your vision board. And then you’ll realize you’re getting rid of that toxic energy. You’re not letting that person kind of creep back in and weak moments and being you are manifesting what you want for the future. And that’s how I always tell people to deal with the toxic relationship getting that toxicity out of your system.

Damona 32:22
I give everyone all of these tools of how to prepare themselves. And I’ve seen time and time again, it works in moving you into a relationship whether using the dating apps or another way. But sometimes you just don’t know you don’t know if that person you’re going to swipe on is going to be the right person you don’t know if that guy that you met at LACMA is going to find your number and look for you again after he’s divorced.

Unknown Speaker 32:45
You don’t know what’s going

Damona 32:46
to happen. So I love that you’re giving us so many concrete tips but also so much inspiration that love if we keep doing these these things. We keep preparing ourselves and we keep living in our authentic self and living our best life not the Instagram kind but the

Unknown Speaker 33:05
real best life and also having integrity you have to have you cannot manifest something positive if you don’t have your own integrity about yourself and how you carry yourself to.

Damona 33:15
Exactly Yeah, Monique. This has been such an exciting conversation for me so inspiring. I want to know where where can people find you and what else do you have coming up that people can look out for? Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 33:28
my Instagram is at cocktails and confessions. So is my tik tok. My website is Confessions of a serial dater in But the main thing that I’m super excited about, as you know, I’ve written my blog for seven years, seven years writing the blog. And during that time, you know, I left my studio executive job to write my book. So my first novel debut novel reality and chaos. It’s available for pre order right now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It comes out January 14, but this book damona I’m just these characters, these are strong female characters, great friend talks about friendship, love, there’s a character going through divorce. There’s a character dealing with a family member with mental illness. There’s a character that’s dealing with unrequited dreams that haven’t been fulfilled, you get an opportunity to get the dream fulfilled, but was it worth it? And how their friendship keeps them together. But reality and chaos is my debut novel. And it’s I hate to brag, but it’s really good. Honestly, kudos

Damona 34:35
to you. Thank you writing a book is a bit of a beast. So I am really impressed. You and it’s a novel.

Unknown Speaker 34:43
It’s a novel, I wanted to do something where you know, with a blog for me, there’s certain things I’m not gonna write about. Okay, so I want my grandmother and my mother to be able to read my blog now ready to be like

Damona 34:54
Poppy. So my dad listens to this podcast from dives and he’ll like send me text. I’m like Oh, you heard that episode, huh?

Unknown Speaker 35:04
So with this with the novel, I was able to create these memorable characters and just go there because they are fictional. And it just, it just presented such a great opportunity.

Damona 35:13
That is so awesome. We will be sure to put the link in the show notes and I hope everybody will follow everything you’re doing on the blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA and follow you on Instagram and tick tock, I haven’t really stepped into the tick tock game yet, but

Unknown Speaker 35:27

Unknown Speaker 35:29
it’s a rabbit hole. Once you get there, you’re stuck, you can’t come out.

Damona 35:33
That’s what I’m afraid of. But But talking to you certainly has been inspiring, so maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks so much, Monique. Thank

Unknown Speaker 35:41
you demona.

Damona 35:43
Make sure you check out her website to find out when the next cocktails and confessions gathering is happening. We’ll put the link to her new book, reality and chaos in the show notes for you to get it on Amazon. And I would like to give an invitation to you to become one of our Patreon friends with benefits. This is for the people that listen to this podcast and love it and have gotten so much value and advice and want to give back to the show but also want to become a part of our community in a real way. You can join our Patreon friends with benefits for just $5. And you’ll get access to my exclusive Facebook group where I do my weekly behind the mic live streams and I talk about what I’ve learned from the show what’s happened behind the scenes. There’s lots of other great content, special special promo content, special goodies, library content, it’s so juicy in there, and I want to invite you to join so please check it slash dates and mates. This has been Episode 336 of dates and mates. I love hearing from you. And we have another deer demona episode coming up soon. So hit me up on all the socials at damona Hoffman you can send me a voice memo. I love to hear your voices. You can dm them to me and let me know what you want to know on that next episode, you can let me know what you loved about today’s episode. Or you can always leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255. Don’t be shy. I’ll be back again next week. But Ooh, this is going to be a really unique episode. You’ve heard my side of my love story a few times. But I’ve convinced my extreme introvert very shy, not in the public eye husband Seth to have a very honest conversation with me about what it’s like to date a woman who is used to taking charge in her relationship. Yeah, like me, and how we navigated those gender roles that we talked about earlier. While online dating. I can’t wait for you to hear it. Until then. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Relationship Anarchy & Matrimony Inc


It’s been a very tumultuous week, month, year…you get the picture.

But the Dates & Mates train has to keep on trucking because people still need help in love.

So today, we thought it’d be a welcome departure to hear some love stories from a more romantic era with Francesca Beauman, historian and author.

Francesca has gone through hundreds of years of personals ads from people looking for marriage and she’s compiled them all into the delightful new book, Matrimony, Inc.

But first, let’s dish:


Rules for Dating in Second Lock Down

A second lockdown is coming, so it’s time to define the relationship now. Damona explains why.

Relationship Anarchy

Relationship Anarchy – the latest movement shaping the future of love. Damona weighs in.

Photos Men Should Not Put On a Dating Profile

Photos mentioned: bad selfies, gym mirror selfies, and photos at the Women’s March. Damon explains why.


Damona and Francesca explore how the search for love throughout history has built the foundation for dating today.

Check of Francesca’s new book Matrimony, Inc: From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, a Story of American Looking for Love


Damona  0:10  

Hello, lovers, we are recording this on what I think is day four of the election saga. And it’s been a tumultuous day already. Well, a tumultuous week, actually month. Well, let’s be real year, you get the picture. But the dates made strain it has to keep on trucking because people still need help and love. And I’m reading the room y’all. The other day when I finished my coaching call for my my women’s group program, I realized there’s a lot of anxious energy not just in dating, but overall. So today, I thought it’d be a welcome departure. To hear some love stories from a more Romantic era with Francesca Bowman, historian and author. Get this Francesca has found personal ads from various newspapers over the last couple hundred years that were written by people looking for marriage, and she’s compiled them all into the delightful new book, matrimony Inc. So today we’re going to explore how the search for love throughout history has built the foundation for dating today. And I’m so excited for y’all to hear this interview. And to have a little fun with us and a little levity. and bask in the fantasy with me and Francesca. But first as always, we have headlines. Lock your relationships down now because a second lockdown is on the horizon. Hmm. And relationship anarchy, the latest movement shaping the future of love, plus, the photos you should put on your dating profile today. Now that sir, just watched the Borah, subsequent movie feel so funny. I had to call that one back. All right, why don’t we get on with it. And let’s dish


Unknown Speaker  2:20  

these dating dish.


Damona  2:22  

bustle reported the new rules for dating in a second lockdown. So I know we have people from all over the US, from Canada from the UK. And I just found out that our friends in the UK as of today, the day that we’re recording this, they are facing a second lockdown and the writing is on the wall, folks, it ain’t going so hot in many other places. So there’s a really good chance that lockdown can be coming your way again. So number one, get your routes taken care of. That’s what I’ll be doing. Get my getting my little haircut done, getting my roots done. Get yourself put together because we could be in this for a while. That aside, okay, do what you want. If you if you if you don’t, if you don’t feel like doing all that and getting yourself gussied up, that’s fine. But you should know how it’s going to affect dating in the future. Because remember, this anxiety that I was talking about at the beginning of the show? Well, that is increasing as we are approaching cuffing season. And the options for virtual for for social distance dates are are going to be dwindling. So I suggest let’s get comfortable. Again, with the virtual zoom, zoom video chat dates. Maybe you could have an activity, watch a movie together. But over video chat, figure out some ways that you can still connect and feel together even if you have to do it apart. And maybe you should be thinking at this point about a support bubble. I think none of us could really have anticipated what was coming back in the spring. And it’s a wise idea for you to broaden out your social circle this may be with a partner. This may be also with a a f buddy. Maybe he didn’t you didn’t cough yet. But look, we still have needs. So maybe you have an agreement with somebody that’s in your circles so you can still get your needs met. During the winter months. The UK Government says sleep overs aren’t allowed. And so this is something that we’re going to have to learn how to work around so it’s decision time for some of you. And for others. It may be at time for expansion in figuring out how to date in a new way.


There was a super interesting article in self this week about relationship anarchy. I had never heard of this phrase before but Basically what it means is putting less emphasis on titles of different people in your life like partner, sibling, parent friend, and also putting less emphasis on your relationship significance. And I would say, relationship anarchy, it sounds kind of dramatic. And believe me, there was a lot of there’s high drama in this article. But I really love at the core, the message that it’s giving us, like they cited that you’re expected to prioritize ties your mother, just because she’s your mother, or your romantic partner, you are supposed to live with them, because they’re your romantic partner. But what if, what if it looked different? You know, we’re just talking about bubbles? What if you live with your platonic partner, but your romantic partner is someone that you see now more like, the way in the frequency that you see a friend. And I’ve been actually talking about something similar to this for a while, in not making your partner the center of your world, I think that’s really dangerous. When you’re expecting your partner to deliver everything to you, they’re supposed to be your confidant, your activity partner, your romantic partner, your co housekeeper. And that puts a lot of pressure on one person to fulfill all your needs. So I’ve always said make sure you keep investing in the other relationships. And I remember, situations with friends that would always get sucked into that black hole of relationships, I think you know what I’m talking about. And then they, they forget all of the other friendships, they give everything to that partner. And then when a breakup comes here, they come crawling back, like you’re my best friend, again. And I think there there is something to be said for relationship anarchy and the points that this person makes in this article that it’s a reminder, you can choose how much time you give to people, you can choose the focus that you give to people, obviously, you want to be on the same page with your romantic partner. So they feel they’re getting their needs met, as well. But let’s not, especially in a time like this, let’s not minimize your relationships with your friends and your family. And in the article, they’re talking about maybe getting rid of labels altogether. I don’t know if you want to go that far with it. But I think it’s ripe. I think it’s the right time for you to maybe re examine how much focus you put on finding that romantic partner, and the rule that you’re looking for them to fill in your life and take stock of what you already have and the people you already have that are bringing you love right now. Inside hook told us how to find love with the right dating profile. If you’re a guy, and what you should be putting in your dating profile. I thought this was a


Unknown Speaker  8:07  

What did I think?


Unknown Speaker  8:10  

I’m gonna take that back.


Damona  8:14  

Inside hook shared the photos that men should never put in a dating profile. A lot of these were standard and a lot of these I’ve said for a long time I have them in my book like hello no excessive group pics, I would say actually no group pics, I always say you have to be the star of your profile. We don’t want anyone else distracting the focus from you. Because I know like when I’m swiping for clients, I’m looking at you and your friends and I can’t tell which one you are and what if your friend is more attractive than you are, then you don’t want to set yourself up for that. You don’t want to have somebodies Phantom arm strangely cropped out of your photo. I see this a lot the Phantom hair, I can still tell and I’m still making determinations. Like if I see random blonde hair hanging over your shoulder, and my client is brunette. I’m thinking well, maybe this is not a fit and you just don’t want to place that. That moment of questioning in someone’s mind when they’re going through making split second decisions. Most women it takes seven seconds for them to make a decision about a profile for men it’s only five or less. So you really have to lead with that your best foot forward on your dating profile if you’re wanting to make a connection. Some other things to avoid according to inside hook. They said selfies I really want to know what you all think of this. I have come around to selfies being a normal and acceptable part of a dating profile. But they were saying bad selfies are almost less bad. Then good selfies because good selfies can be deceitfully flattering. But I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, who’s running around with like a photo shoot a photographer following them around taking their dating profile photos. That surprised me. I’m still in favor of the selfies, just make sure that they’re taken with good lighting at the appropriate angle. And not in the bed. According to this article. No bed selfies. That’s not something I see a lot. Maybe Maybe you’re on different apps than my clients. But I’m not seeing too many bed selfies, but definitely no gym, mirror selfies. This is rampant, rampant issue in dating profiles, the gym mirror selfies while we’re at it, just no mirror selfies and also this is really interesting. They said no shirtless pics. did a little study on this and said that straight men who included shirtless photos of themselves and their dating profiles tended to perform far worse on online dating platforms and got 25% fewer matches than their fully clothed counterparts. We like the ABS just let us work for them a little bit more and leave something to the imagination. All right, that’s the headlines for this week. In a moment we will be back with author Francesca Bowman and a deep dive into the history of dating profiles and what you can learn from them today. We are back and I am here with someone who has one of the most interesting buy lines I have ever read. Francesca Bowman is a former TV host historian and part time bookseller. She is also the author of six books including a history of the pineapple and a history of British personal ads. Francesca Bowman’s latest deep dive into history is matrimony Inc. From personal ads to swiping right, a story of America looking for love. I’m so excited to introduce her here on dates and mates to you please help me give big smooches to Francesca Bowman,


Unknown Speaker  12:12  

thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I am so


Damona  12:16  

excited about this book. matrimony Inc. Because Well, I mean, I’ll just say the subtitle from personal ads to swiping right a story of America looking for love. It’s so resonated for me as someone who found love online and now on the show coaches, so many people to be able to use the tools of dating apps to find love. The parallels were obviously glaringly obvious.


Unknown Speaker  12:43  

parallels. Yeah,


Damona  12:44  

I just want to begin, first of all, where I know you’re a book person, where did you get the idea? From?


Unknown Speaker  12:53  

I have always been interested in personal ads, right? I’ve always kind of read them, you know, years ago, when they’d be in the back of the newspaper or magazines. I’d always trawl through them. Because there is something so amazing about these kind of tiny little detective stories, right? Just a few hundred words. And there’s somebody whose whole life in some ways, you know, they’re in the newspaper, I can remember some of my favorites like, woman who likes pastor seats, man who likes source, you know, these very, like, concise, cute little personal ads. And then one day on a whim, I started looking into them, and I found they dated back much, much further than anybody ever knew. And after just like a few weeks trawling through old American newspapers, I found America’s earliest personal ads, which no one knew existed, no one knew how far back it goes. But I found America’s first ever personal ad, which was from the Boston Evening Post in 1759. So really, a long time ago. And once I found that I realized that there was an amazing story to be told here, right? Because all these personal ads, then, you know, became computer dating, and then obviously, dating websites, and now dating apps. They give you so much evidence over 250 years about the history of our emotions, our desires, and most importantly, the history of mate choice, right? What men look for in a woman women and women look for in a man and how that’s changed. Well, or I’m afraid often not change over the past 250 years.


Unknown Speaker  14:20  



Damona  14:21  

I you have said so much. And I’ve just like, I don’t even know where to begin with. So many so many questions. First of all, 1759. What does an ad from that era look like?


Unknown Speaker  14:35  

Right, great question. So I spent weeks and months trawling through old newspapers, in libraries basements of libraries all over America. And the Boston Evening Post was one of America’s earliest newspapers. And then one day, there it is, like on the front page of the newspaper, and it was Yeah, February the 23rd 1759. And what’s amazing is it gives you such an insight into what I do. guy in Boston looked for in a woman then right. So this is what he was looking for any young lady between the age of 18 and 23, have a middling stature, brown hair, regular features, and with a lively, brisk guy have good morals. So that’s like, the starting point, he then goes on to say, must be possessed of three or 400 pounds entirely at her disposal. So there’s all kinds of interesting things in that, like, wait, he’s looking for women between 18 and 23. So, you know, really young by all standards today, but at the time, the average age for a woman to marry was 22 and a half. So between 18 and 23, but he’s trying to catch him young, Captain young and fertile at the time, young and fertile, I’m afraid. I love the way he says of middling stature and brown hair, like what does he have against blondes back there in 1759, he’s very specific that he wants a woman with brown hair, regular features, good morals, of course, very important to be respectful at the time, and then three or 400 pounds. And so if you take that all together, basically what this Boston gentleman is looking for is a woman who is young, respectable and rich.


Unknown Speaker  16:11  

That’s what anyone would want of climbing.


Unknown Speaker  16:13  

Certainly there is some consistency in terms of what people look for.


Damona  16:19  

So based on what I hear now, from people who are tentative about dating apps and online dating, why would a guy in that era turned to a newspaper to find his match.


Unknown Speaker  16:36  

So for almost exactly the same reasons, as people do today, and we can see that in the evidence, when you start getting hundreds of thousands of personal ads, again, that no one really knew exists until I researched them. They really took off in Philadelphia in 1840s. And in those ads, lots of the men are very specific about why they’re placing these ads, right. And it basically comes down to, they’re new in town, they work long hours, they don’t have time to meet people. Sometimes it’s because they’re kind of shy, you know, sound familiar? Like it’s all the same reasons as people do today, really. And why it happens is with urbanization and industrialization, right. So once these cities grew, once the population of Boston hit 20,000, New York, 30,000, Philadelphia 50,000, you can’t any longer rely on like your mum to match you are or you know, your church to match you up or your friend or your neighbor next door to match you up, which is how it would have been done in the olden days. If you’re moving to the big city, you’re getting a new job as people were in the 18th century, you’ve got to kind of turn to some new forms of matchmaking. And so, you know, because people were kind of tentative about this, they will explain in their ads that like, they’ll say, Oh, I’m a stranger in the city, or one guy says, He talks about himself in the third person, he says, have a rather bashful retiring disposition, which has hitherto prevented him from mixing much in female company. So we shy fair enough. Another guy says,


Damona  18:10  

I’m wordsmith too. So I mean, they all match that one up.


Unknown Speaker  18:15  

Exactly. They all are such wordsmith. And that’s, you know, what’s so wonderful about many of these ads. And now the guy says, I’m being closely confined by his business, he cannot devote the time necessary to a protracted courtship, He therefore avail himself of the medium of a publication to express his wishes. So that guy’s just in a hurry, like, works really long hours, and he’s in a hurry. So we you know what, one of my favorite things about researching this was, was how relatable or these people are, you know, though they’re advertising for a lot of the same reasons that people are today, right? work really long hours, who has time to meet people, maybe they’ve moved to like a different part of the country. So they’re far away from like, that college friends or whatever, or you know, their mom or so it’s really the same reasons as today.


Damona  19:01  

Well, and our listeners have heard me say before that online dating now is the predominant way that people are meeting more than all the other methods you mentioned through friends through family through church. Yeah, and, and even though some people aren’t ready to embrace it, I feel like the the the interpretation of dating apps, the the reputation of dating apps has shifted a little bit. But even just going back I’ve also talked about on the show before how even a few generations ago most people met and married someone who lived in their own hometown, they lived within five miles of their house according to two records even back in the 1940s and the 1920s. So you’re going even further back, there must have been some sort of some sort of a feeling in the 1840s. If you had to go to a newspaper To find love, did that have a stigma around


Unknown Speaker  20:03  

it? You know, not as much as you might think when it first started, I mean, some other advertisers Do you know, you say things like, oh, secrecy assured or no trifle as need apply, you know, to show that they were serious and genuine about this, but like you say, um, there was a real a need for it. And it in some ways became a public service, you know, like a postal system, right? Because if you couldn’t just marry the girl next door, or, you know, the boy you went to school with, and people couldn’t, not just because of urbanization, but increasingly in the 19th century. And with the settling of the West, right, in some parts of the American West, there was such a gender disparity there. There was you know, like an Iowa there was three men for every one woman in California during the Gold Rush, there were 250 men for every one woman right. And so then, right, then it’s just a question of need. And and therefore, it’s a result that isn’t necessarily the stigma surrounding it that you that you might think when the stigma emerged really was after the peak of personal ads of advertising for love in the 1860s 1870s, when there were so many hundreds and thousands of these personal ads in every state in the nation, every local newspaper from Kansas to Wisconsin, why Wyoming North Dakota, every local newspaper had personal ads saying wife wanted or husband wanted, do the 1870s 1880s when the stigma came was actually around the turn of that century, around 1900 1910 when there was a huge crime wave that was reported around the person ads, it’s not necessarily that it was the first Crime Wave, but the first crime wave that was reported with the rise of newspapers and newspapers who like to scandal, right, so they didn’t report they didn’t report stories of people who met through a personal ad and lived happily ever after. Because that’s not interesting to anybody. Right? They were they sadly reported stories of you know, when there was like a crime like fraud or bigamy or even murder and there were a lot of those, you know, particularly in the New York Times around 1900 9010 and that’s what really gave advertising for love. It’s kind of bad rap for a long time. It meant people thought it was like scary or worrying or you know, that it would it would cause problems and it was dangerous and that was a kind of early 20th century thing really so it came in actually the stigma surrounding it emerged much later than you might think. Huh


Damona  22:27  

See that’s so resonates i i’m i’m always saying that we hear these stories because they’re rare or because like you said they make a good salacious story they sell newspapers they sat gets you to watch the television show


Unknown Speaker  22:42  

exactly not


Damona  22:43  

you don’t hear the the mundane stories because


Unknown Speaker  22:46  

they’re not as they’re not they’re


Unknown Speaker  22:48  

not as entertaining. It’s not as entertaining to people if they’re like, Oh, yeah, we met we met we fell in love When we lived happily ever after. And everyone’s like, oh, boring, you know, they want to hear their like salacious, scandalous stories, you don’t hear the kind of stable, happy, delightful loving stories, right? Because that, you know, human nature doesn’t sadly respond to those in the same way.


Damona  23:09  

That you you have some positive stories in in your books,


Unknown Speaker  23:13  

and many


Damona  23:14  

of them on your Instagram. So tell us tell me some of the good stories because we do we love a good rom com as well. There must have been some positive.


Unknown Speaker  23:23  

There was so many positive stories, hundreds and hundreds of them and and you know, many of your listeners will probably have grandparents or great grandparents who met through a personal ad. They maybe just don’t know about it. But people you know, would write to me and say oh, my great grandmother met her husband through a Perseids. So for example, one of my favorite stories is about a woman named Augusto Lawson, who was a Swedish immigrant. And in 1892, she answered a personal ad that had been placed in a Chicago based newspaper where she lives. It was from a guy called all roods, who was from Norway originally and had settled in Washington state where he farmed the land they were he was really a pioneer that there were hardly any women and to speak to your point of why do people advertise, like, what else was he supposed to do? Right, there are hardly any women around. So it was really smart and sensible to put an ad in a newspaper. You know, in one of the big cities. agasa Lawson saw this this personal ad, they wrote to each other for a few months. And then she amazingly decided that her best bet was to travel 2000 miles to go meet him. So she got the, you know, she got the train and then she got the coach and then she turned up in this tiny town in Washington State, but they met and they married and they had kids and they farmed the land, you know, places like Washington state would not exist without these kind of pioneers, right. You need them to, you know, build families and to build a nation and in that way personal ads all forms of advertising for level release. central to the, to the founding of America in that way, because without them, these couples, you know, wouldn’t have met. So that’s one of my favorite stories because it really speaks to, you know, the history of modern America in so many ways.


Damona  25:13  

I love that I’m always telling my children, I’m like 100 years ago, y’all would be here to just tell the field. Like, right, take your dish to the sink, so you don’t go out and shuck some corn or whatever.


Unknown Speaker  25:26  

Right? Exactly. So much is different. But then so much stays the same. And I mean, that also speaks to the number of women who advertised in newspapers, like in the 18th and 19th century, so, so many more women than you might think, put personal ads in newspapers, and you’ll see them in national newspapers, local newspapers, they have this headline that says husband wanted and kind of bold black type. And they really are amazing. Some are very different to what you might read, like on a Tinder profile today and someone kind of the same. So can I give you one of them?


Damona  26:01  

Oh, yes, yes. And then I want to talk about communication because you also got me thinking with the love letters, but I want to hear one more and then we can


Unknown Speaker  26:09  

Okay, so tell me if this is the kind of thing you might meet on a Tinder profile today. This was an ad placed by a woman is in Wisconsin in 1855. She talks about herself a little and then she describes what she she’s looking for in a guy. She says, I want to know brainless dandy or foppish full, but a practical man who can drive a coach or rock the cradle to the garden or attend the ballroom on the whole he must dress neat. Look well and keep his head up in society.


Damona  26:39  

That’s all I hear. Francesca they want a man’s man. Right? Don’t yet don’t don’t hate on don’t hate on what did she say? She says


Unknown Speaker  26:51  

no foppish? No. No brainless dandy or foppish fool.


Damona  26:59  

That’s funny. I it’s, it’s amazing to me how similars these some of these patterns are. But when you brought up the love story, and you mentioned how they wrote to each other, right for a while. That’s the part that I feel nostalgic for. And I feel like that’s the thing that’s changed, like people want to blame dating apps for the, for the dissolution of courtship. But I really think it’s more communication. And the way that we that we talk to one another, and the way that we build relationships, that has changed so much, even just in the last 10 years, so they would connect, and then they’d send letters back and forth, where they could really get to know one another. Right doesn’t just like, like, hey, Netflix and chill.


Unknown Speaker  27:47  

Right, exactly. And what it does is it builds a friendship, right from the very beginning, it builds a friendship through, there’s less writing, I would say, I mean, I’d be interested to know what you think about this, it does seem to me that that is one positive spin of the pandemic, right, is that because people are not able to meet up on a first date in the way that they used to, maybe they’re having to communicate in other ways, you know, on on zoom, or whatever it is, it creates more space to build a friendship in the same way you might have done if you were a seamstress in Iowa in 1870. And you were writing letters to a goldmine and California, back and forth and back and forth for weeks and months. If you build a relationship, you build a friendship before you actually meeting and I do wonder if if that’s to be optimistic about right now when dating and a pandemic obviously has so many challenges that what the one upside is it does give you space to build a friendship before anything else happens. And surely, that could be a wonderful thing.


Damona  28:51  

I really want people to hear and and process what you just said, because that is the opportunity that we have right now. And I think that’s where we were maybe three months ago. Unfortunately, what I’m seeing right now, and I’m not gonna call any of you out at this very moment, but I’m seeing actually there’s a little bit of panic setting in over cuffing season, like everybody’s trying to partner up before things get cold. And, and the fatigue, just the pandemic fatigue. being around people for so long, is causing people to do real really crazy things. And just like Well, you know what, it’s fine, we’ll just make out it’s fine. I’m sure it will be fine. And I have always said slow Love is the way to go. Just like you were saying. Taking the time to build that connection doesn’t mean that you have to be like writing letters across the miles. But just taking some time first to get to know each other before you build the intimacy and before you like rush into rivaling,


Unknown Speaker  29:52  

like to build a friendship to become friends because that’s what’s going to see you through the tough times as we all know it’s it’s it’s the friendship That means that relationships can then last 20 or 30 or 50 years. It’s the future that’s at the core of it. Well, and


Damona  30:07  

you’re happily married lady.


Unknown Speaker  30:08  

So I


Damona  30:09  

would take advice from you.


Unknown Speaker  30:12  

I mean, don’t take any advice from me.


Unknown Speaker  30:14  

How did you?


Damona  30:15  

How did you and your husband meet?


Unknown Speaker  30:16  

So we met, I used to be a TV host. Like 100 years ago, I used to be a TV host on British TV. And he was a TV director, and he directed a show that I was hosting. But it was the first one I’d ever done in a TV studio. And I was kind of a little bit vague about how microphones work. Like, I’m not an idiot, right? So when I talk about the director, I’d be like, oh, like, I really like him or three, see, if we’ll come up for a drink tonight, I would cover my microphone, I’m not a total idiot. But what I didn’t realize is that even then the microphone picks it up. So being this TV studio, you know, in between takes, like, with the makeup lady doing, you know, my makeup and suddenly doing my hair, and I’d be like chatting to my co hosts. And all of this would be broadcast into the entire like gallery that you know, the vision mixer and including my, you know, husband, to me, but you know, again, at least in you, I liked him from really early on.


Unknown Speaker  31:12  

I love that.


Unknown Speaker  31:13  

I love that. In a sense, you


Damona  31:15  

kind of made the first move or


Unknown Speaker  31:17  

you know, right? Yes, by mistake. I made the first move.


Damona  31:22  

But you let it be known how you feel because today I feel like so many people are like, I don’t want him No, I like him. I’m just gonna play cool. If she knew I was into her, she wouldn’t like me back and I’m just like, enough, enough of the of the pretense let’s just, let’s just be real. So right. By default,


Unknown Speaker  31:40  

your real when a guy really likes you, he really likes you. So you know, my, you know, my husband’s I mean, I think he was just busy. And I hadn’t occurred to him. And then we went out for drinks. And then like, oh, and then we had to keep it a secret for ages. Because like, you don’t want to be like, you know, having a thing with somebody at work. Right? Who does that unless it’s serious. So the first few weeks, we kind of kept it secret. And so I’d be like, in the makeup chair before the show, and he’d have to like come in and be like, how’s everyone this morning? Everyone? Okay, and I’d have to be like waiting. Yeah, exactly. Wait, wait. So we can’t do the secret until we knew it was, you know, pretty serious.


Damona  32:13  

And your husband works in Hollywood. Right. So


Unknown Speaker  32:15  

Kim? Tv director, yeah, yeah. So he started out working on Bora. And with Sacha Baron Cohen, which, of course, that’s very current at the moment. And then he went into movies, and he directed the Muppets movie, and LSU the looking glass with Johnny Depp. And don’t forget


Damona  32:34  

Dora. Actually, as a parent, I love Dora. I thought it was so. so charming. And I didn’t even realize that he he had directed it. And then when I saw you directed, I was like, of course, it


Unknown Speaker  32:46  

was so charming. And sweet and funny. And and he really makes movies in His own image, I think just charming and generous and kind and funny. Yes,


Damona  32:57  

yes. And so that’s interesting. Okay, so your husband will say his name is James bobbin. Right. That’s right. Yeah. He so working in Hollywood, I imagine that’s


Unknown Speaker  33:07  

kind of


Damona  33:09  

that impacts the relationship in some way. And my husband is also he’s a TV writer. I don’t I rarely talk about what he does. So my listeners might not


Unknown Speaker  33:18  

even know.


Unknown Speaker  33:22  

It was James wacky. And I’m like, I don’t really know, we didn’t talk about things like that.


Unknown Speaker  33:26  

Right. Exactly. Exactly. Like


Damona  33:28  

my husband wrote on the walking dead for three seasons, literally, maybe saw a few episodes. Like, why


Unknown Speaker  33:36  

not watching. But you


Damona  33:38  

know, it’s it’s interesting when you’re in a way, in living a relationship in the public eye. And, and I bring this up, because also, some of our listeners, even though they might not be able to relate to being in Hollywood, social media does add this element of playing out your relationship publicly. Do you feel like that’s, that’s ever been an element, you know, especially having been a TV host. And, and now, you know, moving into being an author and having your bookshop? Does does that? Do you think impact your your relationship in any way, the public element?


Unknown Speaker  34:17  

You know, I really don’t, to be honest, I really don’t. I mean, we’ve been together 20 years, we met when we were young. And so again, I think there’s such a friendship built on that that social media is something that we both do for work purposes. But it’s it’s social media, it’s very much a work thing for both of us. So it feels pretty separate to our kind of real life in inverted commas. I mean, obviously there’s exceptions to that. But I suppose particularly because what he does is is now pretty different to what I do and you know it kind of Hollywood dinner parties when I Samurai to people, of course, they all you know, what movies Did you write and when I say I’m a historian, people kind of think maybe I’m joking. And they’re not sure whether to kind of laugh or not. Because you know, it’s a it’s an unusual job in, in Hollywood, right? I get the same thing. When


Damona  35:09  

I say I’m a dating coach people are like, really like, a deep soul conversation, doesn’t it?


Unknown Speaker  35:18  

Yes, you can’t say it without without it becoming your whole thesis, I have to take a deep breath and go. And sometimes you find you lie, because you can’t remember to talk about it. Sometimes I want to be like, I’m an accountant. So that then like people don’t ask me about it. Because I know, you know, once the subject comes up, people will ask me about it.


Damona  35:34  

So what is the topic then when you’re at these Hollywood dinner parties? What’s the topic that all the movie stars want to discuss with you?


Unknown Speaker  35:40  

Okay, I’ll tell you what they all want to know, is, what do men look for in a woman? And what do women look for in a man? Because I, you know, I feel like I do have a unique insight into that, because I can put the historical perspective on it, right? So there’s all the kind of current data or research about mate choice, but I have a uniquely historical perspective of 250 years of what people have looked for and how that’s changed. What goods give us? Well, they’ll say, What do men look for? What do women look for? The trouble is the answer I have to give because it’s the truth is not as kind of depressing. So because much of my choice is predicated on evolution, there’s always going to be an element of it, right, which is men looking for, for women who are fertile. And women looking for men who can support offspring, I have resources, right. And now that is obviously a huge generalization. And as with every year goes by, there’s more and more exceptions to that, of course, and even the definition of that changes. So, you know, women looking for men with resources in the 18th century, that would have meant cash or property. But these days, it can mean a good sense of humor, or like a lot of Instagram followers, or like, you know, really clever, you know, designing websites or whatever it is, it just means, you know, be able to support offspring, if that if that comes to the relationship, and then the same, obviously, as women choose not to have children or to have children later, like obviously, you know, men looking for women who are fertile. That’s very, you know, reductive and a huge generalization. But looking at the evidence, because so much of it is about evolution. And that’s not going to change if one has to generalize. That’s the answer. And I wish it weren’t, I wish I could give you a different answer. I’m all I would emphasize is that, of course, there are so many exceptions to that in terms of ages and situations. And with each year that goes by you get more and more exceptions to thank goodness,


Damona  37:46  

I love hearing the historical perspective, because I think, you know, we are all a product of our history, right? And everything that we’ve learned from previous generations and everything that is biologically entrenched within our society. Exactly, no, ignore it, but we have to, I feel that we have to see it, and embrace it. But I think we are at an interesting time, Francesca because I think we are we are at this place. Where are ours? Our actions have sort of moved beyond our biology, our societies move beyond our biology. And we’re in this really weird dissonant period where everybody’s trying to figure it out. Right. And I guess that’s what keeps me doing this show for


Unknown Speaker  38:28  

eight seasons. But maybe you want to me is like how, you know how quickly we’re going to move beyond that entirely in that, like, why hasn’t marriage already died out? You know, we talked about, you know, people, you know, that marriage will have disappeared and don’t yet it it kind of seems to like cling on in this weird way. And so I’m actually I’m interested in, in a weird way, how slowly things are changing how slowly dating is changing how slowly it’s changing what people look for in relationships, you know, I would have thought that there might have been a more radical shift and in some strange ways, you know, humans do seem to be oddly kind of conservative with a small see sometimes about the way they form their their relationships. I I’m waiting for that to be a more radical shift. And I hope it I hope it happens but, but we’ll see. We will see


Damona  39:20  

Well, I appreciate everything you’ve shared with us. I think this book literally, it’s fascinating. Everybody run and check out matrimony ink, from personal ads, just swiping right a story of America looking for love so many more stories than even what Francesca was able to share. And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram at Franz bookshop, your you’re a gem and I’m so glad that you were able to join us on the show and share your insights.


Unknown Speaker  39:48  

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been really fun.


Damona  39:50  

We will of course put the link to this amazing book in the show notes. You can get it on Amazon matrimony, Inc. From personal ads, too. swiping right a story of America looking for love. By the way, I am super excited to announce something new demonios coI will be curating lists of my favorite love content and books of prior guests. My favorite love. I’ll be curating lists of my favorite resources on love. Everything from podcasts, to books, to videos that you can watch to books that prior guests let me receive free By the way, I am super excited to announce demonios content club. I think I need something else in there. By the way, I am super excited to announce something new de Mona’s content club.ntent club,  I will be curating lists of my favorite resources on love everything from podcasts, to videos to books from prior guests and you My friends, you can have access to all that juiciness. All you have to do is become one of my patreon friends with benefits for just five bucks a month. You can get in the club, you can come to my behind the mic weekly, live streams on Facebook, you can get tons of other resources and items for them from the dates and mates library. And you can get into demonios content club you can find all of that slash dates and mates and again, it’s just five bucks. Five bucks support the show and get some more goodies for yourself slash dates and mates. This episode is number 335 of this show on this episode is number 335 of dates and mates. I would love to hear from you. I am already taking audios and taking questions. I would love for us to connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Because I need to know what’s on your mind. I need to be answering your questions in love. And I am taking questions right now for our next dear demona episode. You can DM me a voice memo of your question you can you can message it to me You can even give me a call. Give me a call girlfriend 424-246-6255 leave it on my voicemail right there. And you could be on a future episode of dates and mates and get your love problems solved. So hit me up at damona Hoffman on all the socials. I will be back again next week with the fabulous Monique Kelly who’s going to talk all about how you can celebrate your singlehood but until next week, I wish you world peace and happy dating

The Phases of Dating During COVID


Since I began my practice, there have been only two major disruptors to the online dating process that have required me to modify my approach: Tinder and COVID. 

Online dating was always one of my favorite mediums for singles to meet but Tinder and the apps that followed made online dating accessible to all and forever impacted the dating landscape. 

COVID has changed everything about how to date online, use the apps, and filter for matches. Today, the number one question I hear is: “How does dating during COVID work?” Luckily for daters, the stages of dating have stayed the same, but the way we navigate them could be a little different.

These are the phases of online dating today:

Phase 1: Online Matching and Introduction

The speed of swiping is still just as quick as before but I find that daters are slower to move on to in-person dating in the pandemic as they take time to assess someone’s dating risk.

Phase 2: Texting/Messaging

This stage, which used to drag on for weeks or months, is truncated now because a call or video date is less risky than a traditional date. Before, people had to weigh the value proposition of an in-person date based on the investment of time and money. Now that those factors are removed, there is less pressure on this decision and singles are speeding through this part of the process.

Phase 3: The Phone Call

I have been a long-time advocate of the phone call prior to the first date. It is impossible to tell compatibility over text, yet before now, many people were skipping the phone call in favor of speed and efficiency. Now phone calls have once again become an accepted phase in the dating process as a lead up to a video chat or social distance date. 

For my clients who are nervous about giving out their phone number, I recommend downloading the TextNow App which gives you a free alternative number that will ring to your primary phone. That way if you ever change your mind about a match, you can change your number safely and easily and keep it moving.

Phase 4: Social Distance Date

Once you have talked on the phone or video chatted, you will need to meet up in person to see if the connection is real within a month or less. Most catfish situations come up when the daters have never connected off the app so I encourage clients to move offline as soon as it feels safe and comfortable.

For months, singles have waited for things to return to normal. So if you ever wondered how to date online in the middle of a world-wide pandemic AND election year, my answer is: it’s a lot like the old model of online dating with more precaution.

Now, more than ever, those who are uncoupled have felt the weight of their decision to stay single or the frustration of being unable to find a suitable partner. However, we are in the new normal and dating will not return to the old model anytime in the foreseeable future.

The positive side of this shift is that it has slowed down the filtering phase. What had become a rapid-fire round of swiping directly to a date and the inevitable ghosting that followed has been replaced by more mindful conversations and meaningful phone calls and video chats.

Ultimately, you have to create your own safety plan for dating in the time of Coronavirus but if you move offline quickly, I recommend downloading the TextNow App to communicate safely then meet up in a COVID-safe environment, you can still find love in today’s world.


This blog is sponsored by TextNow. The app solves many major challenges that my clients face in dating today:

  • You can keep your main number private
  • You can separate your personal and dating contacts
  • Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.

I’m proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. Click here!

Cosmopolitan Mag & Safe Sexting


So remember back in the old days – like last year – when you were in the mood for a booty call and all you had to do was send a simple “u up?” text??


Are you now prefacing your “u up” text with a COVID questionnaire? – have you come into contact with anyone with Covid-19? Have you been out of the country in the last 4 weeks? Do you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms possibly related to Coronavirus?

Just kidding please don’t do that. We’d much rather you start with virtual dating than put you at risk or risk turning a new partner off completely.

But to make these new connections, we’re having to reexamine our strict “no sexting” policy? If you can’t have real casual sex in today’s world, can you have virtual sex?

Today we called in Taylor Andrews – sex & relationship editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine! She’s here to give us the new rules on romance in 2020 and tell us about the trends that have come across her desk and her forthcoming book Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games.

Disclaimer: We don’t get too graphic in this episode but we do talk about sexting and the book Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games soooo, now you can’t say you weren’t warned. 

But first, we dish!


The Universities with the best dating scene

StuDoc has found that Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University, California State University Fullerton, Northeastern University, and University of Virginia have the best dating scenes. It might surprise you to know that BYU was actually the student population that popularized Tinder! This is relevant to you and your dating life. Damona explains why.


Are you sexy?

There is now actual proof that if you feel hot (read: aroused), you are more likely to find the confidence to make a date happen. Damona breaks it down.


Stars, they’re just like us

Drew Barrymore shares that she, too, gets stood up by random dudes on dating apps. WTF?



Everything you need to know about safe sexting from Cosmopolitan Magazines very own, Taylor Andrews!


We discuss:

  • Why right now is definitely the best time to date
  • Sexting, how do you do it?
  • Hookup advice
  • Did we take a peek at Chris Evans’ dick pic??? Maybeeee…
  • Sexy Fantasies

Pre Order your copy of Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games Here!

Make sure to check out Taylor’s work in Cosmopolitan Magazine for all the juicy news!


Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • Email: I am 39 years old and have been on dating apps for 13 years. I haven’t been physical with someone in over 3 years. Someone asked me to come over sat night for drinks, bonfire, and sex and I’m wondering if I should just go for it? I’m worried I’ll catch feelings.
  • Women’s Group: I met a guy on Hinge a few months ago. We’ve had 2 socially distanced dates in person and everything seemed to be going great. We both got really busy with work, but he said “if we want more we have to see each other more and talk more”. I agreed but since then he’s been distant. I set a date with him for dinner, but when I called him to make a plan he didn’t answer and hasn’t called since. Should I try again to make this happen or is it over/?


Damona  0:00  

Hello lovers, it’s Dimona. I have a new goal of reaching 10,000 more hopeful romantics before the end of 2020. But I need your help. There are three quick and free ways to support the show and spread the message of love. Number one, subscribe. Okay, look at your phone right now. And tap the subscribe button if you’re not subscribed already. And then you’ll get every episode The minute it goes live. Number two, rate and review. If you’re liste ning on Apple podcasts, go ahead and scroll all the way down to the bottom where it says ratings and reviews. Then click as many of those five stars as you want. Maybe five if you’re feeling frisky, and then you can even click write a review to tell everyone why you listen. And number three, share tell your friends about us. Click the three dots by this episode and dm it to a friend who needs to hear this advice. do three and keep dates and mates free for eight more seasons. And we can reach our goal together of healing those 10,000 hearts. Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome to dates and mates. So remember back in the old days, like last year, when you were in the mood for a booty call and all you had to do was send a simple you up text. Now are you processing your uop text with a COVID questionnaire like have you come into contact with anyone with COVID-19? Have you been out of the country in the last four weeks? Do you have a cough fever, shortness of breath or any other symptoms possibly related to Coronavirus? kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Do not do that. Please. I would much rather you start with virtual dating then put you at risk or risk turning off a new partner completely. But to make these new connections, I’m having to re examine my strict no sexting policy. If you can have real casual sex in today’s world, can you have real virtual sex? Today, I called in Taylor Andrews, sex and relationship editor at Cosmo magazine. She’s here to give us the new rules on romance in 2020. And tell us about the trends that have come across her desk and her forthcoming book, the cosmos fantasy sex games. First though, we got to get you all up to speed on what’s going on in the news. We reveal the universities with the best dating scene. And will you really look sexier? If you feel sexier? Plus stars they’re just like us. Drew Barrymore reveals her big dating app debacle. Then at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including I need intimacy, but I’m worried I’ll catch feelings. And is he busy? Or just not that into me? disclaimer folks. We don’t get to graphic In this episode, but we do talk about sexting. And of course the book Cosmos fantasy sex games. So now you can’t say that you weren’t warned. Let’s dish Our first story actually comes to us from Stu docu which is an online platform with study tools for students. They surveyed over 100,000 students from 15,000 universities to find the schools with the liveliest dating scene and some of the top five might surprise you. Number one was Utah Valley University. Number two was Brigham Young University number three, Cal State Fullerton where I have spoken before number four, Northeastern University, and number five University of Virginia. I don’t even have to look at all the results to know that my own college didn’t make the cut because the dating scene there was dead.


But here’s what’s really interesting, Brigham Young University for those of you who have been listening to the show for a while, you know that this is not the first time that I’ve highlighted Brigham Young University in a dating dish. Because back in 2013, this school, which has a high number of Mormon students, a big Mormon population was actually the school that put Tinder on the map. And here on dates and mates in 2013, you could hear me talk about how this new app was taking the dating world by storm. And it was sort of launched there at Brigham Young. And so it wasn’t actually even a hookup app, as a lot of people were saying in the beginning. They did seed it at a lot of universities, and it really took off at Brigham Young. And they even reported later that year in 2013, that it had led to a number of marriages of people who had matched on Tinder and then moved into serious relationships and become engaged with even just a few months. So I totally buy the stew doc you survey I will put a link to it in the show notes. But I would say if you want to know what’s going on dating and relationships, you should probably figure out what’s going on at Brigham Young University. There’s more news that’s fit to print, psychologists have been examining something that’s called the biased perception of romantic success. What they mean by that is this idea that when you feel sexy, you will be considered sexy by other people. And, you know, we you’ve probably heard me say that on the show before, I’m sure lots of dating experts say like, you know, you feel good, then you’ll look good. It’s, it’s, it’s a mindset. You know, mindset is everything. But according to research, it’s really, really true. And when you present yourself as feeling sexy, you actually are reducing your fear of rejection. And you’ve heard me say this on the show as well, that, that we need to just be more confident and not get attached to the outcome. Okay, here is how this study worked. And I can’t believe there are people that get paid to do this kind of research. But hey, I get paid to do this. So anything goes, they showed sexually stimulating images to people in a clinical setting, before introducing them to a stranger of the opposite sex. And then they had a neutral conversation just about like, hobbies, career goals, blah, blah, blah. But they found that those who had been exposed to sexual stimulus rather than neutral stimulus, something not so sexy, those who were exposed to it were more likely to initiate more intimate contact and be more interested in initiating a romantic relationship at the end of the session. And what this does is it confirms that when you feel sexy, you’re more likely to take a risk. And so often I say that, that success in dating, some of it is just if the other person is feeling the vibe from you and feeling like you’re into them, a lot of times that can amp up their interest in you. Well, one person who I think, should have lots of interest on dating apps is Drew Barrymore. But it turns out, it has not gone the way that she planned it, she revealed on and watch what happens live with Andy Cohen that she had been on Riah and she thought the app would fulfill her lifelong dream of going on a blind date. It’s really hard to go on a blind date when you’re Drew Barrymore because everybody knows everything about you. And you don’t know who these people are, but Riah, you know, is for the celebrities. But she said that her first day was a train wreck, she said she got stood up. And actually, I can also reveal on the show, she told me this story not too long ago, because I am also one of the dating experts of the Drew Barrymore show. I’ll be on my first show live this Wednesday at 9am. Eastern in New York live, but check your local listings to see when I will be on in your area. But here’s the thing if this can happen to Drew, and let me tell you, she is so sweet. And she’s so charming and everything that you see about her and ROM coms. It has been my experience of working with her on her show as well. It happens to everyone and and you have to do the same sort of work whether you’re Drew Barrymore or the girl next door, you have to make sure that you’re pre qualifying people before you get to the date. If this person would stand up Drew Barrymore they certainly will do it to you. And then you know if this person doesn’t show up for you, that this is not meant to be but it doesn’t mean to you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. It doesn’t mean you should give up on dating apps. And I hope drew doesn’t give up on Riah but she certainly hasn’t given up on love. So look out for me on Wednesday, spreading some more romantic cheer on her show. Those are the headlines for this week. But when we come back, we will be with Taylor Andrews from Cosmos Oh, get ready for some juicy talk in just a moment.


I am here with Taylor Andrew, she’s cosmopolitans, assistant editor of all their juicy dating relationships, sex and love content. Please help me give big smooches to Taylor Andrews. Hey, Joe, how’s it going? It’s going girl. First of all your articles are fire. And we have referenced them a lot on the show in the past, but you are really on the cutting edge tailor of what is happening in dating and relationships. And people are always asking me, like what is the deal with dating apps? And should we even be trying today? Is it too complicated? Now there’s woke fishing. I have to know their COVID status is dating just to complete hated right now.


Unknown Speaker  10:02  

Honestly, I would almost argue on popular opinion that right now is the best time to find someone in a relationship, if that’s what you’re looking for. And I’m going to tell you why. I think right now, people are not leading with physical like intimacy. Obviously, we’re in a pandemic, you can’t go meet someone in person, if you are, you’re meeting six feet apart, and you’re outside, it’s just different circumstances. But right now, you’re really getting a relationship, like via text message via zoom via FaceTime. And you’re communicating and talking to these people before you even add in the whole physical element. So you’re getting to know them, you’re getting to know like, what they like who they are way more in depth than you would if you were seeing them on a first date. So I would actually argue that right now is the best time to actually successfully find a solid relationship.


Damona  10:52  

You know, what I will cosign on what you just said, I actually was just talking to a former client yesterday, who is in the best relationship of her life, she met this guy two and a half months ago, in the middle of a pandemic, on a dating dating app. And she said, it’s just a totally different trajectory, like it’s unfolding in a completely different way. And she’s, you can really tell, if you are, if you’re on a date with somebody, you don’t have all the distractions of everything else that we use to get our attention or keep our attention on a date. It’s just the two of you talking and connecting, you really can’t have the other distractions. And you know, is this really the real deal or not? So she said, she’s, like, deeper in this relationship than she’s been on any other relationship before,


Unknown Speaker  11:45  

right? I mean, everyone’s on dating apps. Right? Now, if you’re single, you’re on a dating app. And actually, for cosmopolitan readers, 51% of our readers are on dating apps. So that’s like a high percentage, considering that some of our readers are also in relationships. So if you consider how many people are on dating apps, you’re going through a lot of different people, you get to fine tune and select who you want, who matches like your personality, what you’re into, I just think you’re gonna you’re getting so much opportunity right now today that you can absolutely find someone who is like, on the same level as you. And yeah, I mean, like I said, whether you’re on dating apps, because you’re bored and lonely, and you don’t have anyone to talk to you, or whether you’re actively trying to get a relationship, I completely agree with you now would be a great time to, I think, if that is what you’re looking for, to get into a relationship.


Damona  12:37  

And I do feel like, as you said earlier, there, there isn’t as much of that physical interaction with strangers. So I feel like a lot of those people have fallen off the apps. And one reason that a lot of people feel like, it’s not a great time because they don’t feel like as much is happening. Because we were we were at a an unsustainable pace of dating, I feel like before the pandemic, and I feel like something had to happen to stop that crazy cycle of like, swipe, swipe, swipe date, date, date, totally, you know, with wash, rinse, repeat. I wish it wasn’t a pandemic, of course, but it happened. But there’s so many other factors right now. Like, like, it’s 2020. Like everything that can happen, will happen. And there’s so much else that is affecting dating today. Right from race. We’ve talked at nauseam on the show about race and dating to the the election coming up. And we had your friend in mind, Michael Kay from Okay, Cupid, on the show to talk about that. What do you think do you think that people are finding are looking for the wrong? Like? Are they focused on the wrong things right now? Or is it just like that we are at a time where we have to, we have to kind of cut out the clutter and find somebody that’s totally aligned with us on so many different levels?


Unknown Speaker  14:06  

Well, it’s interesting you say that, because I’m actually currently working on an article of it’s a debate and it’s can you actually be in a relationship with someone who has opposing political views? I, I would argue, especially with the year 2020. I would argue that you can but you wouldn’t. You would be surprised by how many people believe that yes, you can be in a relationship with someone who has opposing political views. So while I do think that this year has definitely made it so that women are maybe, I don’t know not being as picky or anything just because they are lonely on dating apps, I do think if you want a successful relationship, now would be the time to like I said, fine tune and find people who agree with you and align with you on topics like race and LGBTQ policies and and everything in that regard and even more, so than Now you can do that because you are talking to them via dating apps and texting. And it’s a less intimidating conversation than asking someone in person. So how do you feel about our current administration? And what are your views about who should be the next president, etc, etc. Yeah,


Damona  15:16  

they used to say don’t talk about those things on first dates. But I almost feel like now, it’s like you must talk about these things, first dates, just just to figure out if they even meet meet the basic criteria.


Unknown Speaker  15:28  

Totally. So the


Damona  15:30  

The other thing that now we are dealing with since we are distanced from whoever we are matching with or talking to, is how to keep that chemistry and communication and flirtation going in the digital space. You have written this very hot and sexy new book, Cosmos fantasy sex games. And we’ll give everybody a little peek inside. But I think one one element that is really pertinent to our listeners is sexting. Like, yeah. What are the rules for sexting now, especially like, if you are talking to so to, essentially a stranger, someone you met on a dating app? Maybe you haven’t actually moved offline with them? Are there different rules for them versus someone that you’re already in a relationship with?


Unknown Speaker  16:20  

I think, okay, the number one thing I can say is, men, can we stop with the dick pics? I mean, right? Can we please please like, Listen to me, listen to everyone who’s been saying this for however long, the dick fix needs to stop. Unless it’s consensual. And unless the woman specifically asks to see your penis, women do not want to be surprised by a dick pic and their phone. So that’s like sexting rule number one, do not send unsolicited nude pictures to the other person. So that’s the biggest thing. As far as everything else, it really just depends on what you’re into. And what you and your partner have consensually agreed upon. So what I always like to encourage is I know people really struggle with sex either, like I just can’t figure out like what to say, I feel so awkward. I just I don’t know, I would just start if this is someone that you’ve slept with before, I would start by, you know, recounting your experience with them. So Oh, remember when you did this with me, or remember when you touched me here or remember when we were in the laundry room or whatever you’re doing, and then just start from there. It’s like retelling the story. So then it gets you started. And then the other person is seeing what you’re doing. And they can add in. And then you can start saying things like, Oh, well, wouldn’t it be so hot? If we try this next time? Or what do you think about this? So I think that’s a really easy way to transition into sexting with someone that you’ve already slept with. And in the case that you haven’t slept with someone, I always like to go for like, encourage the conversation. That’s Oh, I wish she were here. I think that that is always the way to get someone to be like, Oh, well, it piques their interest. And so we do fiber there. Exactly, exactly. It’s not you’re not being you know, super, super direct. You’re not saying let’s sex right now. It’s just Oh, I wish you were here and it gets the conversation started in a non intimidating way. It’s really easy for the other person to like, jump in into the conversation. So that would definitely be like, my starter. I mean, what do you what do you think about sexting? What, like, what are your tips?


Damona  18:29  

Well, I I’m kind of cautious about sexting, like, in terms of sensitive images. Like, look, we just saw this not that long ago with Chris, Chris. And like, you know, the dick bickered route.


Unknown Speaker  18:47  

That was an accident, like,


Damona  18:49  

I actually do, because I’ve had, I’ve had, like, I’ve had pictures that I did not intend to put, I’ve had, like, have you had this happen on Instagram, where you were like, like chatting with someone or in a store in stories, and then all of a sudden, it was like calling them I need to fix this? Because I’m like, sorry, I’m not trying to suddenly call you like, it’s just in the middle of the conversation. You’re right. So I think it could have been an accident, but I think it maybe it was a happy accident. after all. I think it’s probably for him going to enhance his life more. It’s been it’s going to hurt him. But you know, you do work for cosmopolitan, female focused female first, like, what would happen if that was a woman? It would be a completely different conversation. If you know, it’s like a teddy pic.


Unknown Speaker  19:38  

Right? I would and we’ve had celebs things like this get leaked. Um, you know, like it happens. Um, and it Yeah, I don’t know that. That’s an interesting conversation because it is like the difference between you know, he, I don’t I don’t know. It’s um,


Damona  19:58  

it’s complex, isn’t it?


Unknown Speaker  20:00  

It is I wish I had more of an opinion on it, but I just can’t even.


Unknown Speaker  20:04  

It just doesn’t happen.


Unknown Speaker  20:06  

It doesn’t. So, as far as explicit images go, I’m sure everyone was really happy to see that. But that was like, you know, that’s breaking a barrier. Even though it was accidental, you know, that’s even if you would put that into terms of like dating someone in general. Again, like I said, you should not be sending dick pics. So the fact that that happened is not not a good example.


Damona  20:30  

Yeah, cuz then you took the dick pic it What was your intent with the dick pic? That’s that’s the other question.


Unknown Speaker  20:35  

Exactly. Do you


Damona  20:36  

like what you said, Taylor, in terms of using it to build anticipation is how I would how I would phrase that like saying, Oh, I can’t wait to see you again. And really thinking of sexting as an element in for prep for thinking of sexting as an element of foreplay, and really, look giving yourself something to look forward to. And then the other thing I love about what you said, was storytelling. That’s so much of I mean, you know, the book is the fantasy sex games, it’s the fantasy, it’s telling the story of what’s going to happen. And I know, for me, I sometimes feel a little awkward, maybe, maybe it’s because of my husband’s reaction. He’s like, so uncomfortable with it. But it can be awkward, right? to, like, send that first sext and to step into the roleplay space. How you


Unknown Speaker  21:28  

gonna? Absolutely can’t and that’s normal. You know, if, if I could say anything, we actually have this segment in the book called finished the fantasy, where we set the whole fantasy up, we type we have it written out. So you just read it with your significant other, or whomever you want to sex with, or whatever. And then you finish it. So we already did all the hard work for you, we initiated the conversation, so then you just finish it.


Damona  21:53  

That is so perfect. And this is why I also help people with dating apps, like just getting started, like having the prompts or having the outline. And then once you’re in it, it’s it does feel more natural. Right. Yeah. You know what to say? Yeah, but it’s that, that anticipation and and awkwardness of just getting started that sometimes keeps people from


Unknown Speaker  22:18  



Damona  22:20  

The thing, like the thing I loved about the book is, it is so playful, and there’s so many ideas in there. Like you might read through it, and you’re like, Whoa, not that for me, but you might read some and think, oh, I’ve never thought of that. I’ve never tried that. I was like, how did Taylor get all these ideas?


Girl, you know, no, you know, I read the book. But when if you’re with a partner, some of it is just that willingness to explore and try something new, you know, especially in quarantine, we’ve been locked up. And it’s been like, same old, same old For how long? We’re all stressed out overworked. Why not? Why not? Try something new with your partner?


Unknown Speaker  23:11  

Absolutely. And I think it also goes into, you know, I don’t know, we’re speaking to women of you know, all sexual orientations. And they’re in relationships, and they’re single and whomever or, and whatever. But, um, I just think that like, quarantine is the best time to really have fun with all of this, and you’re with your partner all the time, might as well just make it fun and do something different than what your normal circumstances like, there’s no reason why you can’t have fun and go pick out a Halloween costume that’s leftover in your closet from five years ago and have a little roleplay situation with that. And and while I understand that it can be intimidating. I think it starts with you know, kind of breaking down that wall that you have that’s preventing you from you know, wanting to take that step and wanting to maybe dive a little kinkier deeper into your relationship and sex life. I think it starts with removing that barrier and removing whatever that wall is that’s preventing you from wanting to do that and then just like going for and owning your horniness and owning who you are and what you want, and getting that orgasm.


Damona  24:16  

It’s natural girl it’s natural


Unknown Speaker  24:18  

is yes.


Damona  24:20  

Yeah. And sometimes you just need to mix things up a little bit. Let’s say you’re on the other side of the conversation and your partner is the one that’s like, let’s be a little bit more adventurous. How do you get to that place where you can go like Dude, should you just go with the flow with what your partner wants to try?


Unknown Speaker  24:43  

I think that you should definitely establish beforehand hard boundaries. So anything that you’re absolutely not okay with doing. This can easily be done in something like a yes no maybe list which we actually also included in the book, but we’ve written about it countless times where you And you can print this off. Or you can do it from the book what we included, but there are a bunch of topics that we have listed and you go through with your partner and you say yes, no, or maybe. And if you would rather not do it with your partner, you just like print out a copy, and you do it yourself. And then your your partner does it. And then you compare where all of your yeses are, where all of your maybes are and where all of your nodes are, and the yeses you discuss, like, Yeah, I would be into that. So obviously, like, that’s consenting, once you have a conversation about it, you’re consenting to doing that in the bedroom. That maybe is okay, let’s talk about this. And let’s figure out like, why it’s a maybe and what would make it absolute? Yes. And then the no is a hard boundary, you’re not doing that. So I actually think a yes no, maybe list is maybe the easiest way to transition into like a super sexy thing that you haven’t brought up with your partner, or if you’re part if your partner wants to bring something up to you. But as far as you know, if your partner is just bringing something up, and as long as you don’t, like, have a hard boundary with whatever that person suggested, I say go for it and see if it’s something you’re into, the only way you’re going to know is if you try, and I think you should just completely, like get rid of an idea of, you know, like something that’s taboo and just try it, depending on what your partner brought up.


Damona  26:19  

Let’s say you get some of those maybes. And I love that you have this checklist in the book, you get a maybe I’ve also heard from listeners, how awkward it is to have conversations about sex before you’re having sex. Like whether it’s a maybe from that checklist with your existing partner, or like I’m about to have sex with this person, for the first time. How do you bridge those conversations and make them still sexy? Or should you just not even have those conversations when you’re in the bedroom? Should they happen before,


Unknown Speaker  26:49  

I do think they should always happen before the bedroom. Like I say consent is the number one thing. So I would always encourage that. But I do understand how that can be like icky, and it looks like you’re just like having a conversation about sex, which makes it so unsexy. But like I said, I think if you’re going to be having sex with someone, you should be able to feel comfortable talking about sex with them. Now, as far as when you’re in the bedroom, I I think what’s really sexy is, you know, doing something and trying something you’re into whether that’s like, I don’t know, like going down their body and saying, Oh, do you like when I touch you like this? Do you enjoy this? Does this feel good? Those types of questions that check in with your partner, make sure that you’re always doing consensual, safe sex, and that your partner is actually into it as much as you are. So I think if you are going to kind of just test the boundaries a little bit, I would always make sure to like, ask, how would you like it if I did this? And, and, you know, does this feel good. And you and that can be sexy. I mean, you’re making out with the first and you’re touching them, you’re on top, and then they’re on top of you, you know, if you just say on a super sexy voice and just let this like animalistic side of you come out that, you know, that’s asking for consent and still being sexy at the same time.


Damona  28:04  

What about when you’re in those situations, like I can remember many a time when I was single Taylor, where like, even in a situation where someone was getting consent. There’s sometimes this feeling I’m just gonna like just gonna put it out there and say it sometimes there’s this feeling, it’s like, oh, I don’t really want to do this. But it’s, it’s probably just easier to say us and like get this over with than to actually, like, end it rock the boat or just, you know, just stop the forward motion. You know what I’m saying? I don’t know if you’ve been in that situation, or if you’ve written about any situations like that before, but I think we’re in a new paradigm right now of women. Like, you know, I’m a little bit part of the old guard of like, you know, back then we just like rolled over And we took it. But now like in the conversation of consent, I think there is an element of I don’t want to say responsibility. But I think women are being called to speak up in those moments. And I love it any words of encouragement, you’re such as strong, competent woman like words of encouragement for other women that maybe are in the boat that I was in or that just find it hard to find their voice in those moments.


Unknown Speaker  29:20  

I think the biggest thing that I can say to that is that your pleasure is just as much worth it as your partner’s pleasure. So you need to really focus on what feels good to you and not so much what feels good to your partner. I think so often women are told, you know, like you mentioned, we have to lay on our backs and we have to be the one that is making sure the man orgasms or or who whomever their partner is, and and that’s that doesn’t need to be the case our orgasms are just as just as important as our partners. And so if something makes you uncomfy don’t do it You do not have to do it. There’s nothing that says like no you are in charge of a man’s orgasm because you’re not and and i think Like I said, that just goes back to women feeling like they have to please their partner, and they have to focus more on their pleasure. But no, you you deserve an orgasm just as much you need to make sure and like control that, that you are seeking just as much pleasure as you are seeking to give your partner. Okay, and then for


Damona  30:17  

our guy spies in the audience, we have a lot of male listeners actually, as well, that one, that they’re good guys tailor, they want to make things also safe and comfortable for women. Are there any tips that you can give those guys for how to create this kind of space? With a new partner?


Unknown Speaker  30:41  

Yeah, I mean, I, I’m big on communication, like I said, so I really think that a good good sex starts with communication. And I think it’s just being super open about having a conversation before you have sex about what each other is into and what you want to try, and what feels good. So I would just make sure to actively check in with your partner when you’re having sex to make sure that everything is going great. And and, yeah, I mean, I think sometimes as women we like in heterosexual relationships we like to feel taken care of, and like he’s almost in control. But I don’t think that needs to be the case all the time. So I think having those conversations beforehand can really be beneficial. So I would just tell whoever the guy listeners are that you know, be very open about what you’re interested in and wanting to please your woman and talking to her about what gets her off? Because she knows better than you do.


Damona  31:44  

Mm hmm. All right, ladies, no, no best is what they want. We just have to find her voice and speak up about it, and maybe get some new ideas. And I for one got many of them from reading Taylor’s new book, Cosmo, fantasy sex games, y’all. It’s hot, is right for the times. And there’s so much more also at cosmopolitan calm that people can read. And I just have to be you didn’t, you didn’t ask me for this feedback. But I’m just going to give it to you. I’m also a subscriber of for the for the magazine. And I have to say, Taylor, like I know you and I connected because you were looking to highlight some more voices of color. And as I was going through my Cosmo magazine last month, I was really shocked at the number of people who looked like me. And I feel like there’s really been an effort to be as inclusive as possible and to really diversify the images, not just in the content, but also in the advertising. So I just wanted to say how much I really, truly appreciate the work that cosmopolitan is doing on that front,


Unknown Speaker  32:59  

of course, and we appreciate experts like you being able to weigh in. I mean, you’ve helped so much with our content. And I hope that all your subscribers know that they can see you on Cosmo articles and be like, yeah, that’s Dimona. She’s awesome. She knows everything. So I love talking to you about the


Damona  33:15  

articles. I don’t know if I know everything, but at least I can have conversations with smart ladies like you and we can learn from one another and pass it on. So thank you so much for being here. Taylor, it was really a pleasure to have you on the show.


Unknown Speaker  33:28  

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.


Damona  33:31  

Lovers don’t go anywhere. I have your questions. But more importantly, I have your answers. Please stick around. We are back. This is dear demona. This one comes to me from a new listener. In an Instagram dm she says I’m 39 years old and I’ve been on dating apps for 13 years. girlfriend. That’s a long time. She says I haven’t been physical with someone in over three years. But someone asked me to come over Saturday night for drinks, bonfire and sex. And I’m wondering if I should just go for it. I’m worried I’ll catch feelings. Who? That got sexy real fast, didn’t it? First, I would say it’s really good that you know what your tendency is that you know that when you get intimate with someone, you can catch feelings really quickly. First, obviously COVID is happening right now. So you have to have a real way to assess someone’s risk. Like I had a conversation with a client and she was like, Yes, that’s just risk risk. And it was fine to go out on a date and I’m like, I’m not sure how you did that. Like Did you take like, like at the top of the show? Did you do a questionnaire Did you did you like get a saliva sample? Did you stick a swab up his nose? I don’t know. But you figure it out the way that works for your stay and your comfort level how you assess the risk. I think, Hey, we are all feeling the skin hunger right now. Well, not me because I, I’m touched out, I’m around people all day long. But for those of you who are single, it is no wonder that we are missing that human connection, and even just the power of touch. So men or women, there is no shame in getting your physical needs met. But if you know that the tendency for you is to put more into it, and to think more about it than what it really means, you might need to add an extra level of protection for yourself emotionally because it’s clear if this person just matched with you on a dating app. And they were just like, bam, drinks, bonfire, sex, let’s get it on. I don’t know that that is suddenly going to blossom into a more meaningful relationship. So you have to know what you’re signing up for. Now, I’ll tell you a little story. This is kind of embarrassing. I have had one and only one, one nightstand in my life. And I it’s kind of one of those things where I thought, well, everyone’s done it, and everyone should do it. So I’ll just do it and get it over with. And I have to tell you, it was honestly the worst experience of my life, there was nothing sexy about it. I felt terrible when it was over. And he, he wanted to he was really a jerk. And then he wanted to walk me to my car, and I was like, Don’t walk me to my car, I’m fine. I’m a grown woman. And then he felt really bad for being a jerk. So then he just followed me to my car to make sure that I didn’t like I don’t know, get raped or something, because then he’d feel extra bad. And I have to admit, I don’t regret a lot of my experiences. I think every experience that you have, it teaches you something and adds up to something more. So I don’t regret that it happened. But I definitely learned that for me. One Night Stand life was not it. So you might already know that about yourself. But if you feel like you can separate the intimacy and the physical connection, and the sex from the emotional part of it, and you can do it safely. I am not one to judge.


Our second question for today came from my women’s group, the dating accelerator program, this person said I met a guy on hinge a few months ago, we’ve had to socially distance dates in person and everything seemed to be going great. We both got really busy at work. But he said if we want to if we want more, we have to see each other more and talk more. I agreed. But since then he’s been distant. I set a date with him for dinner. But when I called him to make a plan he didn’t answer. And he hasn’t called since Should I try again to make this happen? Or is it over. So a lot of times we operate out of a place of assumption. And I definitely think he was trying to send you a message here that he either was angry with something that happened or didn’t feel like he was getting his needs met. And so he he might have even been saying in that conversation, he had already made the decision to move on. If we want more, we’d have to see each other more and talk more. And the other part of that sentence in his mind was, and it doesn’t seem like you can do that. So Peace out, I’m gone. And then at that point, you’re agreeing, but you’re entering from a position of needing to make things up to him and cater to his needs. Right? So I’ll just first say it might already have been too late. But in most of these situations, we also if we don’t have clarity, we need to get clarity. So yes, you should try again. And for some people, like they’re too proud to actually just speak what they are feeling and what they want. And that’s how we end up in all of these ghosting, Limbo, half assed situations, none of that for you, you’re going to say, Listen, I feel like I’ve been really distracted. And I really want to give this a chance. I’d love to see you house this weekend. Just go directly for it. Put your heart out there, put what you want out there, you’re going to get one of two responses. It will either be Oh, I didn’t know that you were really into this? Yes, I’d love to see you. And then he his competence is renewed, and he wants to invest in it further or you get crickets. And what I need you to hear is that crickets are a response. So that’s why I say you might have already gotten the response. But we if you were operating out of a place with any ambiguity, ambiguity, we can’t necessarily judge that. So now you’re going to go right for it. You’re going to say exactly what he wants to hear. You’re going to be very clear about where you See things going in the future. And then you’re going to see what he has to say about it. And then you’re going to report back to me, and the dates and make show. That’s it for today’s episode. This one is 329 of dates and mates. Yeah, you’ve got to check out Taylor’s work and cosmos, she writes all of the hottest content about sex and love and And this book is seriously, it raised my body temperature, about three or four degrees just from reading it. You can pre order Cosmos fantasy sex games, wherever you get your books, but I’ll put a special amazon link in the show notes. Disclaimer, if you order through this link, I do get a small percentage of the sale like a very, very small percentage of the sale, but I’m just trying to make it easy for you to get this book. So that’s the scoop for today’s episode. Hit me up on the socials at damona Hoffman. I’d love to know what you learned from today’s episode, or hear what your questions are for a future episode. We’ll be back again next week with more hot dates and mates content but in the meantime, make sure you watch the Drew Barrymore show I will be on this Wednesday, September 30. So check your local listings for when you can catch the show. Until next week. I wish you happy dating


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Inside OkCupid & VILF

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Love Astrology & Sex Ed

Zoom Date Tips & Tik Tok for Lovers


Hello Lovers! Are you having a hard time connecting over your zoom date? You’re not alone.

As we embrace the new normal I want to make sure you have all the tools and tips you need to make a connection in the most disconnected time in history. Zoom Dates might just be our only option right now.

Last year I talked to Susan Ibitz – The Human Behavior Hacker – who told us how to read faces on dating apps to choose your match just based on what their facial features reveal about them. Now we brought her back to help us level up our dating skills for the new system of online dating, zoom dates, and social distance dates with masks.

What can you infer about someone from your first Zoom date?

How can you tell someone’s facial expression with the ability to only see their eyes?

What kind of facial qualities would indicate the right match for you?

Susan is going to give us the scoop on the scientific shortcuts to human behavior that are written all over your face.

But first we have to talk about this week’s headlines:


The latest dating trap:

“Woke fishing:” What is it? Are you in danger?

Tik Tok for Lovers

Tik Tok brought together two lovers, Natalie and Josaiah. While historically we’ve been cautious about mixing social media and dating, it’s shaping up to be a big part of coronadating.

Mama Yenta? Is that you?

New dating app JustKibbutz has the best take of the week on dating apps: “Do you really think an algorithm knows you better than your own mutha?!?”

Zoom Date Tips (11:00)

Today Damona spoke with Susan Ibitz, a longtime professional in face reading and behavior hacking. You might remember her from an episode last fall where she taught us how to analyze your dating app matches using the same tactics she’s used to negotiate hostage situations for the police. 

Today, Susan and Damona teamed up to use those same human behavior hacking skills to teach you how to show up for your COVID style dates.

We discuss:

  • the importance of good mics
  • Hands!
  • Camera positioning
  • The importance of backgrounds
  • Zoom date and self esteem
  • Anna Ferris was right: The eyes really are the nipples of the face.

Did you know that Susan did some more personal human behavior hacking and set up one of our daters for real success? You can find the video on Patreon!


Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • Em on IG- She’s having some trouble reading herself these days. She’s 26 and online dating and she’s feeling like she’s ready to meet someone to start her life with this is what I’m says the past few people I’ve been talking with and dating are really sweet and easy to talk to. But I’m not feeling attracted to them once I meet them. Even after a few or several dates. I’m trying to figure out if it’s just that I’m not ready to be dating right now. Or if the person or these people are not the right match for me or do I just need to keep putting myself out there for new matches?
  • Jocelyn on IG – She says she’s a single 41 year old nurse working in a hospital with potential exposure to Corona virus on a daily basis. She says I have to work hard to keep myself safe and healthy. But obviously some risk still exists. It’s a it’s difficult for many healthcare providers to get tested. She says she’s never been tested and doing so on a regular and ongoing basis is unrealistic for her totally get that. She’s seen very few people and would be okay accepting a man into her bubble. But she says she’s only interested in so as careful as she is, is it hypocritical of me as a nurse to ask for this level of caution

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Unknown Speaker 0:00
It’s a tale as old as time. He’s handsome, debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.

Damona 0:10
Okay, hold on. Honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like

Unknown Speaker 0:17
we supposed to get my swipe. I don’t want

Unknown Speaker 0:19
somebody to share my life. What does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even

Damona 0:31
you can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates in mates with damona Hoffman

Hello lovers, welcome. Well COVID just keeps on trucking. And so do we over here at dates and mates as we embrace the new Normal, I want to make sure that you have all the tools and tips you need to make a connection in the most disconnected time in human history, or maybe the most connected depending on how you view technology. Last year, I talked to Susan ebbetts, the human behavior hacker, who told us how to read faces on dating apps to choose your match just based on what their facial features reveal about them. Now, I brought her back to help us level up our dating skills for this new system of online dating, virtual dates and social distance dates with masks Of course, what can you infer about someone from your first virtual date? How can you tell someone’s facial expression with the ability to only see their eyes? What kinds of facial qualities would indicate the right match for you? Susan is going to give us the scoop on the scientific shortcuts to human behavior that are written all over your face. But first to hop over to the headlines, including woke fishing, what is this latest dating term? And how do you look out for it? And Mama yenta could your mother be a better matchmaker for you? Plus, is tik tok the way to your heart? I’ll tell you how to make a meaningful connection on social media. Then, at the end of the show, I’ll answer your questions including how do you date during COVID as a medical professional, and 26 and online dating without any real attraction? Is it you? Or is it this new method of meeting people? All right, get your pen and paper ready because this is going to be one of those study session types of episodes that you will want to take notes for. And we will begin at all with the dish

Unknown Speaker 2:46
these dating dish.

Damona 2:48
You know I love a good dating term and the online mag the tab has brought us up to speed on woke fishing. This is when a guy says he’s feminist and anti rape But turns out not to be the jury’s still a little bit split on whether this is something intentional, if this is actually a phishing situation, or this is just something where he thinks that he has more liberal beliefs than he actually does. Because, you know, it’s I guess it’s hip to be progressive right now. And they realize that a lot more women are trending this way. And so to get in with them, they might present themselves as Oh, so woke, but not really being supportive things like Black Lives Matter. Or they might just slip up on a racial slur. I heard a story from a listener not that long ago that dated a guy for a year and a half. She’s biracial and discovered that the guy she’s dating actually isn’t so into black people.

It’s a complicated web we weave out there, but you want to be on the lookout for people trying to be overly sympathetic. To your views or to overreach on things that they don’t appear to know anything about. We’re all in a place right now where this is new learning for so many of us. And if we can just stay in that place of discovery, you don’t have to be so woke to be so dateable. But just be yourself and be open to listening and learning. If you’re looking for love, and maybe you’re afraid to get and woke fished on a dating app. BuzzFeed told us about a cute story of a couple that met on tik tok. And it went viral. And let me tell you, I learned a lot. And I think there’s a lot that you could take away from this couple and how you might be able to make a connection via social media, right? We can’t go to bars anymore. We can’t just be wiling out in the streets. But you can actually be really strategic about who you meet using social media. All right, this couple I’ll tell you, Natalie and Josiah. They met by a typical A post that Josiah made. I have to tell you, I totally didn’t get it. It was like about him dropping a fry in the car and like how you never see it again. Anyways, I’ll let you see him. I’ll put the link to the BuzzFeed article in the show notes, but she it made her laugh. It doesn’t have to make me laugh. It kind of goes back to that point. I always say with a sense of humor. Everybody wants someone with a good sense of humor but what one person finds funny and what another person is cannot believe that you wasted countless hours creating are two very different things but Natalie was charmed by it. And let me tell you what she did. Instead of just engaging with him on tik tok. She went a level deeper. she searched for him on Instagram, and then she followed him on Instagram and liked a few of his other photos. Pro tip that I learned from producer Leo, it’s considered polite if you follow someone to go through and like some of their photos. If you’re following me on Instagram at damona, Hoffman, maybe go through and like a couple of my posts, so I know what you’re responding to. But it also can signal interest. And clearly that’s what happened with Natalie and Josiah. Because then he started following her back. And then they started chatting. And then they went on this cross country road trip, and it was Oh, so cute. You can read the story there. But I want to give you some tips on how to have your own social media meet cute. So the first thing is search for hashtags that are relevant to you. If there’s a particular show that you’re interested in or something like I was saying that indicates your sense of humor sensibility interest that you have, check out that hashtag see who’s talking on on that thread. You can also search for interesting comments on other profiles that you follow and see who might be cute and might be interesting. to chat with just through that particular thread or on that particular page, and see where it can go from there. Then of course, if you like, and he likes, and then you like additional photos, and then you’re following each other, you have a direct line to the DM. Another much underutilized resource is the Facebook group. And there are several groups like I’m in a bunch of podcasting, Facebook groups love coaching professional Facebook groups, you know, political interest, Facebook groups, whatever it is that you’re into, the weirder the better, I would say, but if you can search for a group that fits that particular interest or value system, and then become active in the group, don’t just be a looky loo, actually actively comment and engage with other people in the group that are cute. And start making yourself visible. I talk about this a lot in my dating program. That you, you have to be out there you have to be visible in order to be found. So if you are initiating posts, and you are also commenting on other people’s posts one, you’re going to be boosted in the algorithm. We’ll talk about algorithms next episode. So don’t get ahead of ourselves, but it will make you more visible to others and it will make your posts be shown higher up the next time you post. And you can get seen by those kinds of people that you want to meet. One thing just make sure your account makes it very clear that you’re single, none of this single shame. You’ve heard me talk about that last season. I’m continuing on season eight, no single shame. You’re single, you’re ready to mingle. You don’t have any pictures of exes. In your profile. You don’t have anything that’s that’s vague about what your relationship status is. You’re on Facebook, you can say straight up. I’m single and I’m looking to meet men, women, whatever it is, so be bold. Be clear about it and take a chance you never know you might make a match. If you still feel like you haven’t found a match in today’s world, maybe you should just ask your mom, the Atlanta Jewish times told us about a new app that will launch this fall called just kibitz. That allows Jewish moms to be yentas for their kids. Fun fact, I almost called my my sight Sister yenta when I first launched this, for those of you who don’t know, I’m both black and Jewish, so it’s fitting for me, but it’s probably fitting for some of these moms. And when I originally started as a writer for JD, I used to get a lot of moms that were like, Can I just do this for my kid? Can I just set them up on dates? Can you help me help them? So this allows moms to be mom masters and set their children up on dates. Here’s a really funny part. They asked this sample selection of people would they go out on a date set up by their mom and only 50% of them said that they would. And then they said, Well, what if the date was prepaid? What if mama pays for it? 92% of them were like, sure, then I could go out with somebody. So I’m interested to see how just kibitz works. And they have an interesting slogan. They have an interesting CEO named Jeffrey Kaplan, who said, other dating sites are investing in algorithms and artificial intelligence. You really think a robot knows you better than yo and mother. That’s much sugar. Our site is powered by maternal intelligence. I love it and I whether you have a Jewish mom or not, I think this is a really interesting turn on the online dating landscape. Those are the headlines for this week. Before the break, I have a special announcement for those of you who are looking for love and want to hear more of the kind of tips that I just gave in the dating dish. I’m going to be doing a free webinar. On September 2, all about how to find love in the new normal. Yes, it is possible to meet your match in the middle of a pandemic. Yes, cuffing season is coming. And yes, I have the secret to dating and I will share it with you. So why not join me so you know what to do to get out of the dating rat race and get on to that relationship of your dreams. You can register for free at validating secret calm again, that’s th e dating We’ll be live on September 2. And I’d love to meet you virtual style. Of course, you can check for the link in the show notes. I hope to see you there. Welcome back. As I mentioned at the top of the show today I spoke with Susan Ive it’s a longtime professional in face reading and behavior hacking. You might remember her from an episode last fall where she taught us how to analyze your dating app matches using the same tactics. She’s used to negotiate hostage situations. For the police. While today Susan and I team up to use the same human behavior hacking skills to teach you how to show up for your COVID style dates. Here she is giving me a list of her biggest zoom date tips on sound, hand gestures and camera position.

Unknown Speaker 12:20
From all the things that you need to invest, invest in a good microphone, the boys is really important. Why we’re really boys with calm. One tip the most people forget show your hands. If you put in the camera to highs like you looking down on me and that is not a good first impression. So make sure the cameras in 90 degrees, you have at least one or two fingers on the top not too much. In is from the umbilical cord up. Show your hands we use our hands as a nurturer as a touching. So if I can see your hands, it’s more human than if I I only see your shoulders up.

Damona 13:02
Camera positioning is everything on the zoom or FaceTime date for a lot of my clients. There’s an impulse to think of camera angles as we would for Instagram or headshots, but that shouldn’t be the case at all. Treat your COVID style day the same way you would treat a real date to normalize this experience as much as possible. dress in a way that makes you feel confident. Try to be yourself. Remember on an in person dinner date your date would be able to see you from at least the waist up so just keep that in mind but let’s try not to get carried away about the normalization Susan says to remember that people can still see the background behind you make sure you check with a friend that there’s nothing too distracting or nothing that gives away all your secrets. Why you see

Unknown Speaker 13:48
and what the other person see are different. So record yourself and send an if you’re a man send it to a female if you’re a female, send it to a male says is anything on the bathroom. That is giving the wrong message. Because you can present yourself perfectly done. Nails may come care, but I see a mess on the back. And like

Damona 14:11
years ago, I had someone on the show who was a refrigerator analyst. Yeah, so he would have people send in pictures of their dates fridge, and that would tell him everything that he needed to know about the person that they were dating. Like, if they have a lot of fruits and vegetables, then they’re healthy or like he did it from my fridge. He was like, you have like two gold gallons of milk. You must have kids. I’m like, How do you know?

Unknown Speaker 14:39
I have a confession. And let’s see who silently don’t confess the same first date. You’re going to the apartment of the person you’re dating and you go to the bathroom. What is the first thing you do? Open the cabinet? Ah,

Damona 14:54
yes. Or honey look in the toilet. Like if that toilet hasn’t been Oh my God. My husband’s my husband’s bachelor apartment was just I was just talking to him about it actually yesterday as well. Like that was a terrible, terrible apartment. I’m so glad I got him out of there. We all have bachelor apartment horror stories, so maybe it’s good that we can delay the personal hygiene conversation. If your apartment is messy, just tidy up a bit. And don’t use zoom backgrounds. It looks like you’re trying to hide something. But let’s not get too bogged down with your date zoom background, Susan says you need to look at how your date pays attention.

Unknown Speaker 15:36
The first thing that I will look in a person is how we smile to you and how pay attention if you’re shy or an introvert with says put the camera on the system that you only see the person talking to you. Because 75% of the people is afraid to public speaking. This is worse because you seen yourself and you get more nervous from yourself in reflection then from what the other person is doing.

Damona 16:04
I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people that it’s bringing up self esteem issues just having to constantly look at that image of yourself back in the in the window.

Unknown Speaker 16:15
You know what, I have a trick. I something called oxytocin. oxytocin happen when we are taught when we are exchanging with people we like how you replace that in a virtual error. Watching funny videos before you’re going to get to a date to be relax, and to be present and be in a happy place. Three minutes of happy videos or bloopers or pet or whatever, get you to a happy place. Do it and you’re going to see how your body postures is more relaxed. They didn’t imprison. It’s uncomfortable in these computer virtual body language is worse.

Damona 16:58
That’s a really great tip, I reckon. recommend using gifts and funny videos in texting, like that’s a tool when people are like, how do I get the vibe back? I say like send them a joke, send them a gift, send something that you can connect on and laugh about, and that can shortcut getting back into the conversation. What about, like drinking before the date I just, I’m now I was so I write for this column in the Washington Post called date lab where we matchmake for people introduce them and then send them on a date. So for the last few months, the dates of course, have all been on zoom and virtual, which I really hate. Because it’s always the same. It’s always the same date and then people are like, I didn’t really feel a connection. Well, yeah, you just met a stranger that you knew nothing about at least if you’re coming from Bumble or something and then you’re going into the chat you’ve connected you you know that there’s some things in common but this is they’re trusting me and and the date lab team to just set them up and they don’t know who they’re gonna To me, so, anyways, I was just talking to one of the date labs that I’m writing about and they were saying that they, they, they both pre drank to kind of loosen up for the date. I wouldn’t do that but I’m I’m a super lightweight What do you think about about that and like how drinking alcohol can impact the way that you present yourself?

Unknown Speaker 18:20
The pendant how alcohol affecting you, people get aggressive people get too too warm filter it and sometimes the first time is not good.

Damona 18:29
Right? I also I’ve talked about this on the show before but just as a reminder to everyone that’s new to the show or that maybe forgot. Also gamifying the day having an activity exactly what Susan’s saying. Making a theme but also maybe making a game out of it. 20 questions sipping paint night. I just found this app. I swear you guys i’m not i’m not being paid to say this. I just legit really have fun with it. It’s an app called let’s roam and they have in home scavenger On so you can do things where you’re like, you’re like playing this virtual scavenger hunt. And you have to go and grab like your sylius tat or, you know, do it try to do a handstand or something goofy that makes it sort of fun. So those are a few tips for virtual dates. But a lot of people are over the virtual date Susan, they’re ready to move out into the real world. And many people are now even skipping the virtual agent just going right to social distance dates. Well, here’s the problem with social distance day hits. Maybe you’ve seen pictures of someone online but you’re meeting them with a mask on your face reader. You know a lot about human behavior. What can you tell about someone just from looking at the eyes, you know, mid know mid nose and eyes above, they’re wearing a mask.

Unknown Speaker 19:48
First of all, don’t try to show more of your face that you should,

Damona 19:52
you know, like give a little notes.

Unknown Speaker 19:56
Ya know, be the other person is willing to take the mass is willing to take a risk. Then I don’t know if I want to be taken with that person is irresponsible. So actually, everybody seeing that emotions happen on this smile on the lips. Actually the seven microexpression happened on the eyes, the expression of happiness and anger happening on the eyes and the eyebrows on the forehead.

Damona 20:20
So, Tyra Banks was right all along. You smile If you don’t smile.

Unknown Speaker 20:28
Well, some people don’t do it.

Unknown Speaker 20:30
Pay attention to the emotions. Because everybody’s so fixated on the mouth. We’re not paying attention with the eyes is telling us the word and we have all the body to say. I know it’s difficult not to kiss or handshake. Now you can pay attention to other things. And again, go in front of the mirror, put yourself a mask in practice emotions, and I don’t know watch videos, record yourself as your friends to watch a movie together. So You can be analyzed and how emotions happen on the face.

Damona 21:03
This is an important skill to learn because we may be wearing masks for this may be the new normal culturally, this is it’s different in, in the US I know people in other countries like in Asia that this has not, it wasn’t such a leap, right to go into mass culture. But it’s something for a lot of Americans that we have to learn from scratch how to inspect

Unknown Speaker 21:30
the world was born for the first time in Asia, and most Asian people know how to read faces. So whatever you want to learn from this experience is going to make you more human in a better communicator.

Damona 21:46
This is an unprecedented period of time, and we’re forced to reconnect in a completely different way. But hopefully, this episode convinced you that this doesn’t mean that the quality of our connections has to be any different If you learned anything new from Susan, you should check out our previous episode together. Or you can see the amazing private session she did with one of our listeners Mel. Susan actually was able to read some really personal qualities about her just by looking at her face and use that information to set her up for success in dating. They are exclusively available on Patreon and I’m not bragging or nothing but they really did work. You will see us dissect Mel’s profile and really set her up for success. Just a month after our session she met her ideal match and they’re still dating today I just checked in with her so go learn what you need to do to your profile just by watching Susan punch up Mel’s profile with me. from each of our individual expertise. The cost is just five bucks to join and you can get those profile hacking videos plus bonus dates and mates content including a live q&a at Behind the mike session every single week on Facebook, if you love this show, if you’ve gotten helpful advice from me, why not support us to keep making this content and join the club for just $5 slash dates and mates? In a moment, I’ll be answering your dating questions and dear Dimona, so don’t go anywhere. We’re back. This is dear to Mona.

Mona help me. I so love that new intro. I hope you do too. Thanks to my dear friend Jenny Wren genuine music for recording that. All right, we have so many questions I’m going to answer to today but just know if your question doesn’t get answered. It is in queue to be answered on a future episode. This one came to us from M she says she’s been listening to the podcast for about a year. Thank you. Um, she says she’s having some trouble reading herself. These days, she’s 26 and online dating, and she’s feeling like she’s ready to meet someone to start her life with. This is what um, says the past few people I’ve been talking with, and dating are really sweet and easy to talk to. But I’m not feeling attracted to them once I meet them, even after a few or several dates, I’m trying to figure out if it’s just that I’m not ready to be dating right now. Or if the person or these people are not the right match for me, or do I just need to keep putting myself out there for new matches? Well, I think this is a problem that a lot of the people at home are nodding their heads to like, yeah, girl been there. And you cannot force a connection. But what you can do is evaluate your dating patterns. And if this is a longtime pattern of you, like you go out with someone a few times, and it fizzles or you don’t start to feel butterflies, and this has happened over and over and over again, not just the last few months, but like the last few years, then that might be something thing that you want to evaluate because it might be that who you think you’re attracted to, and who you’re responding to, on paper is different than who you would respond to say, in person or who you feel natural chemistry towards. Of course, everything’s different in COVID. And we’re only really able to meet people virtually at first right now. So I really would love for you to spend some time getting in touch with your own attractions like as you’re watching a movie like Who who are you feeling attracted to you when you’re watching a movie as you are? I don’t know on a group video chat with friends. like God forbid you’re not going to Las Vegas Pool Party. Please tell me you’re not doing that. But if you do, you know who what, what is it that you are attracted to an individual people What are you curious about? And some of it is the pool I’m sure if you are not putting yourself out On enough dates, I think sometimes we put too much pressure on each individual date, if you’re only going on, say, one date, a month. But if you feel like you have a lot of people in the pipeline, and when I say going out on one date a month I, it could be a video chat date, it could be a social distance date. But if you aren’t getting enough options in the pipeline, it can feel like you’re putting so much pressure on somebody to work even if it’s not really a match. So I would take a step back, go to that mindset piece that I’m always talking about, and then go to that, that place of attraction and see what is the pattern? What am I responding to, and what am I getting? Where am I feeling this lack of attraction and see if you can, you can analyze yourself a little bit and then create a dating plan that’s going to be more successful for you off of that. Another question comes to us from Jocelyn she says she loves the podcast and she You heard our advice on dating during the pandemic. You may remember that episode a couple weeks ago with dear frannie. And I got a couple of notes about my comments on testing. Of course I am in California, I’m in Los Angeles, where we can, we can test as often as we like, and it’s totally covered and free. I realized that is not the case for everyone everywhere. Some of you picked up on the fact that I clarified that, but you have to, first of all get up to speed on what is available in your area and some places you may not have been able to test before but there may be testing available now. So you have to constantly stay on top of I call it the coronas the corona news, but this person says that my advice didn’t quite fit her situation. Here’s the deal with Jocelyn. She says she’s a single 41 year old nurse working in a hospital with potential exposure to coronavirus on a daily basis. He says I have to work hard to keep myself safe and healthy. But obviously some risk still exists.

It’s a it’s difficult for many healthcare providers to get tested. She says she’s never been tested, and doing so on a regular and ongoing basis is unrealistic for her. I totally get that. She’s seeing very few people and would be okay accepting a man into her bubble. But she says she’s only interested in someone as careful as she is. Is it hypocritical of me as a nurse to ask for this level of caution? Jocelyn, it’s not hypocritical for you as a nurse. It’s, it’s not hypocritical for anyone listening right now to try to understand somebody’s risk tolerance, and ask for a basic level of respect. It’s sort of like asking for exclusivity, right. Like you have that conversation. And as long as they’re on the same page, and they give you their word that they’re going to be faithful to you then. It is a covenant. It is immigrant. remount of the relationship, and especially in a situation that you’re in, thank you, first of all, for serving the people of your state and your city. And being there to help people who are dealing with COVID. I can only imagine the the mental toll that takes on you and how that impacts when you’re dating, the way that you filter through your dates. So you are Yes, in a situation that is different, where you need to be very careful of who you invite into your bubble. But for anyone listening, I think we should use as much caution as possible. I just heard a story of a person that got COVID because he went on a double date with with somebody that he didn’t know and then turns out that person had COVID and all four of them on the double date COVID this is just back in June. Like let’s let’s be cautious. Let’s use common sense the one of the most intimate things you can do is to go on a date with somebody or just to, to, like, I went somewhere with a friend. And we’d both recently been tested and I had to ride in the car with her and I was like, okay, we’re taking our masks off. I swear it felt like having sex without a condom for the first time. It’s a little bit scary to break down that barrier and release that wall. And especially in a situation like your job has to come first right now we really need you, Jocelyn. We need you to stay healthy. So anyone that you date has to be held to that same standard and anybody who really would be an appropriate long term partner for you would understand that. Hope that helps you and hope that helps everyone that’s listening on navigating the new normal and dating and relationships. This was Episode 324 of dates inmates if you’re looking out for some more personalized human behavior hacking. Check out Susan at human behavior. she can do one of these analyses, like, like she did for Mel for you too. And if you want to see what we did for Mel, check out the Patreon to support the show and get all of that behind the scenes and bonus content. It’s just $5 at, slash dates, and mates. Also, we will give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles. And, of course, our gift game is strong thanks to producer Leo. Check all that out at dates and mates calm and there’s other free goodies there waiting for you and other show recaps. Remember the Registration is open now for my free webinar on September 2, you can sign up for free at the dating and I’ll share the secret with you hit me up on all the socials I’m at damona Hoffman you can DM me, let me know what you learned from today’s episode. Or send me a question that I can answer for an upcoming episode of dates and mates. I’ll be back again next. Next week with a deep dive on dating app algorithms. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Date of the Union & The Entanglement


This week we’re answering the question: Can you date today? Or can all we hope for is just a summer “entanglement?”

Damona gives a “Date of the Union Address” devoted to helping you understand the current dating and entanglement landscape plus get you up to speed on the top headlines that we missed during the Love Lessons special series.

First up, we do the dish with Damona’s co-host for the day, Steve Barnes:


Will and Jada and The Big “Entanglement”

We know you’ve heard about Will and Jada… plus August. But we still have questions: Was this “entanglement” staged? Do Will and Jada have an open relationship? Damona and Steve have some experience with Will and Jada that might change your mind of some of these questions…


Royally Screwed

So Princess Beatrice’s wedding didn’t go as planned. Not only did COVID completely cut the guest list down to 100 and push it back… her dad’s entanglement in the Epstein case also cast a shadow on a day. Damona and Steve discuss.


Once and For All: What makes a great relationship

Samantha Joel et al of Western University in London, Ontario have completed the most comprehensive and successful study to answer the question, “what makes a great relationship?” According to Joel, the partnership you build is more important than the partner you pick. Read CNN’s full article here!



We are joined by fan-favorite dating coach Francesca Hogi! You’ve heard her wonderful advice on the podcast before, but if you’re new here, Franny is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single.

Fun Fact: She is the co-host of the podcast Romantical and the host of the podcast Dear Franny: Uncommon Conversations About Love.

She’s here to help Damona to this “Date of The Union Address” right!

We cover:

  • Were dating coaches wrong? Maybe this isn’t the best time to find love?
  • The New Courtship Timeline: dating is slower, but relationships are moving at lightning speed
  • Summer Time Love is Fake
  • The exact steps to take to find love right now
  • Why you should be on two dating platforms – and we tell you which ones those are
  • Why you should be stalking the people you’re interested in

Read Franny’s full list here!


Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • Danette –Is 2 weeks to soon to start saying “I love you”? I’ve met someone who is working abroad and we have established quite a nice text relationship. He is head over heels for me and keeps telling me he loves me. We haven’t met yet. I have strong feelings for him but this is making me uncomfortable. How do I elegantly ask him to slow down.
  •  Mary – I wanted to know if in your segment on Dating While Social Distancing, do you have recommendations on physical intimacy? What if you find someone that you would like to start a committed physical relationship with? How do you navigate and set safety agreements?

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  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Unknown Speaker 0:00
It’s a tale as old as time. He’s handsome, debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.

Damona 0:10
Okay, hold on, honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like we supposed to get my swipe. I just want

Unknown Speaker 0:19
somebody to share my life. What

Unknown Speaker 0:20
does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even I met him on the street. I know which hospital he worked at. I knew his name is I slid into his DMS

Damona 0:30
on Twitter. You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on forward with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates in mates with damona Hoffman,

Unknown Speaker 0:47
members of Congress,

Unknown Speaker 0:49
the President of the United States.

Damona 0:53
Thank you, Madam Speaker. Members of Congress, Madam Vice President lovers, This day marks eight years essentially two terms as you’re leading dating and relationship official. We kicked off the season strong with an interview and coaching demo with the real housewives garcelle Beauvais last week. It was beautiful. It was the very best American dating podcast episode about the best. And now it’s time to address your concerns in a date of the Union Address. All right, in all seriousness, we’re in a challenging time for dating and relationships and everyone needs love now more than ever. So today’s episode is devoted to helping you understand the current dating landscape and getting you up to speed on the top headlines that we missed during the love lessons special series. To do all of this. I have two exciting guests joining me today for updates on the date of the Union. Do you get it data you didn’t get it? Well, I have a fan favorite love coach joining me Francesca hoagie who will give us the exact steps that motivated singles need to take right now if they’re looking to find love. But first, we have the headlines. Of course we missed some huge headlines including will and jaida and the big entanglement and the royal wedding. No the other royal wedding, didn’t you here, plus the latest and most accurate study on what makes a great relationship. Then at the end of the show, Francesca and I will handle your questions including Is it true love or is it a catfish? And when is it safe to get physical with your quarantine crush? Joining me to tackle the headlines of the day is my dear friend Barnes. He’s an actor and producer plus. You may also know him from over 20 years of experience as a radio personality specifically as the host of Atlanta’s number one morning radio show. The morning acts for many years. Now, he’s the host of a hot new podcast called the Pop Culture Show. Along with cmts, Leslie Fram and Kobe Bryant from nycs 106. point seven. Please help me give big smooches to my co host for today, Barnes thank you

Unknown Speaker 3:19
very much good to see you. damona.

Damona 3:21
My friend, I was thinking about who can help me figure out what we missed in the time that we were doing our love lessons and who is always on top of the headlines. And of course, it’s you. Of course we do this every week already on the Pop Culture Show. So why not do it here on dates and mates?

Unknown Speaker 3:40
I’ve listened to your podcast for years you’ve been doing it for so long gratulations on all the success.

Damona 3:45
Thank you. And obviously you are a legend in radio and podcasting. So I’m just honored. You’re here to break down these headlines with us. Are you ready to dish with me Barnes

Unknown Speaker 3:56
I am always ready. Let’s do it.

Damona 4:00
stating dish. Bowsher and everyone in the internet has been talking about will and jayda. This all went down when we were doing our love lessons, but it’s just too important not to talk about, in case you haven’t heard and you’ve been living under a rock jayda had what she calls in entanglement with August alsina. And it turns out it happened during a break when she and we’ll were on a break. So she brought herself and will to the red table to talk this all through. Barnes. I got to know from you. I mean, you’ve been covering pop culture for a long time and there’s been a lot of rumors about willing Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 4:40
for a while. We talked about this in the pop culture show while you’re on vacation. And it what’s weird to me is if you follow all of the clues and all the bread crumbs that have been dropped, first of all on the red table show on Facebook, he called it I believe in a fair or a situation And she quickly corrected him and said entanglement and I think that’s key because August seen us song entanglement was already created made and on the platter ready to come out. It’s very suspicious to me I think something weird is going on with that whole thing even though they have a piece of it and this is just a big Hollywood play. I don’t know what’s happening but all the things said in the song are even Rick Ross is wrapped talking about Will Smith kind of under the lines. It’s strange. Just

Damona 5:32
looking at the read Table Talk episode. I just really felt that will was coming from a very honest place. I feel like the bond between them is so strong that, you know we like to banter about what’s going on. I feel like it is and they’ve been I mean, they’ve been together for what like two

Unknown Speaker 5:53
decades. Come on. You know Hollywood. Something is weird about this whole situation. That August is Seen a coming out with an entanglement song and the way she was so purpose driven in mentioning it during that whole thing with Will I agree with you will seem like he was coming from a very honest place. She, however, was the complete antithesis of that. I felt like she was very fake, and very contrived. And very, she was very flippant with him.

Damona 6:24
I’m just surprised that she was able to keep this a secret while doing red Table Talk for so long. But

Unknown Speaker 6:30
all that aside motion,

Damona 6:32
all promotion, let’s say you’re here, so Hollywood with the pop culture analysis. But let’s say for our listeners who are watching this thinking, Oh, that could be me. I just want to know what your thoughts are on the open relationship situation. Like let’s say it wasn’t even really against the rules of relation, the relationship and they are just in an open relationship. Do you think that we’re going to be seeing more more people coming out and saying The rules of your relationship do not apply to me.

Unknown Speaker 7:03
What legendary for years, they’ve had an open relationship and they’ve had multiple people in and out of it. That’s what people say. They came into our studios one time, she came in one time and was very like, she’s the princess snapping those fingers through the hallways like with her whole, you know, posse following her. And he’s the same way we interviewed Well, a long time ago, and he had like multiple people around him. They’re just very contrived. I feel like they’ve gone on a path to their stardom. And even this open relationship thing could just be something to get people talking. But the August I’ll who is August alsina. I mean, Where did he come from? See all of a sudden he’s being talked about.

Damona 7:44
So what is it? Clearly they understand it, they’re pulling all the strings and yes, we are just talking about it. And yes, we’re going to probably buy that.

Unknown Speaker 7:53
But that read the table. Once again, 15 million or something or more views

Damona 7:59
barn’s Let me tell you though. That show is so good. I mean, we could talk about that all day. But you mentioned that she came in like the princess. There was news about an actual princess that happened while we were in the love lesson sessions as well. Princess Beatrice finally got married on July 17.

Unknown Speaker 8:17
This is great

Damona 8:18
delicious snack, Edoardo mapelli mazzi. And she had to keep changing her plans like it seemed like everybody else was just conspiring against her wedding. You may remember back in the fall there when all the Epstein drama was happening. Prince Andrew just fully put his foot in his mouth and they were like, okay, can’t get married now because obviously people are going to be talking about that. And then COVID happens. And so you know, here all of her cousins get these lavish weddings and carriage processions and they’re like, we’re just going to do a tiny little family only thing and and keep it really small but I can’t believe that that Really what she wanted I think she kind of just got the short end of the stick

Unknown Speaker 9:04
well with Prince Andrew and everything going on with Jeffrey Epstein. That’s number one and they use COVID kind of as an excuse. I mean, the Queen didn’t even stay the whole time. The Queen was like, in and out out he but by the Epstein thing, there are still things coming out with that.

Damona 9:20
Oh, it’s so sketchy sketch and like for everyone listening I’m sure a lot of us had plans that got disrupted from COVID. And a lot of us had weddings or in I just heard from a client who was engaged who had to break off her engagement cuz her her her fiance is stuck in another country. It’s it’s been wild, but maybe like you said, Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for them. And then they can just focus on the relationship being about the two of them and not deal with all their drama. And look at this. This is the royal family. And they have all that same drama. Like don’t invite him to the wedding. Who knows wasn’t Sheila

Unknown Speaker 9:59
she was With an American for what, almost 10 years

Unknown Speaker 10:05
research now

Unknown Speaker 10:07
it’s the pop culture show up on Pop Culture Show, I’m just doing dates and maids.

Unknown Speaker 10:12
She was with this guy. Beatrice was with this American for, I want to say 10 years. And when they broke it off, whoever broke it off, he was engaged in a hot minute. So that’s very interesting. And American, I believe living in London, and they get broken up. However, they got broken up, and then all of a sudden, magically, he’s engaged

Damona 10:34
in it. You know, when it works, it works when it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. But that reminds me of a new cnn study that was just published on what makes a successful relationship. And they looked at successful couples. Everyone’s always asking me like, what are the qualities that I need to present to be ready for a relationship or what should I be looking for? What are the red flags? Turns out Barnes it’s ain’t even about you. It’s more about the relationship. And it turns out that the satisfaction the relationship matters a lot more than the individual characteristics. So thinking of things like, like perceived partner commitment, like if you feel like your partner is committed to you, that’s, that can really indicate that you’re going to be in it for the long haul, or appreciation, of course, sexual satisfaction, perceived partner satisfaction, and conflict. I found this study fascinating Barnes and

Unknown Speaker 11:32
I know every, like every hot button. Well, I mean, isn’t that the bottom lines, but I do? Well, hitting the hot button. I guess that’s the key to a successful relationship right now is the third point. But beyond that, it’s Can you ever get it perfect? Because if you had those four things, or whatever that are this, you know, that are the base of a relationship, and three of them are working here. All right.

Damona 11:57
Yeah. Like everyone’s looking for the Holy Grail. I don’t know about I’ve been watching that show Indian matchmaking on Netflix. And you know, so they have the, well, we’re not gonna get into the controversy, but they look at the bio data, right of all the people that they’re matching. And they go so far as to send them to astrologers and to do face readings to try to get the compatibility, right. But really, it’s just about their, their commitment. When you look at it that way. It reminds me actually, you know, my husband, and I remember in the beginning, I was like, What do you like about me? And he was like, I like how you make me feel. And I was like, that’s a cop out. Give me some compliments. But now that I’m seeing this study, it makes a lot of sense that it was more about the relationship and how he felt in the relationship than necessarily that that I was doing anything special.

Unknown Speaker 12:52
Well, look at all the look at all the reality shows. I watch all of them all the dating shows, it’s weird. Nothing is good enough for Anybody,

Damona 13:00
well, you can’t reality TV, you can help who you love. But I’ll put up the the link to the study, of course in the show notes, dates and mates calm. But there were something some individual characteristics that could predict whether you will be satisfied in a relationship or not. These are really interesting barns, life satisfaction, negative effect, depression, attachment avoidance and attachment, anxiety. If you haven’t read the book attached, you can learn about your attachment style, but I was like, This is the key. We did all of these exercises in love languages to get clear on our partner but also to get really comfortable with ourselves. And that seems to be a big factor much more than looking for those qualities in your partner.

Unknown Speaker 13:50
Have you seen the show? I’m sorry, on Netflix.

Damona 13:52
Yeah, no, I heard it’s really funny.

Unknown Speaker 13:54
All about dating. They’re trying to will feroza an executive producer and they’re trying To be the almost Sex in the City, but kind of quirky of this age. I’ll be curious to see what you think about but they talk about these things.

Damona 14:08
I know like three years. I’ll have some on demand. Oh, I know. I have a lot to watch and very little time. I’m busy watching love love on the spectrum. That’s a good one. Barnes. Where’s that? I haven’t heard that. So Netflix, but it’s people who are on the autism spectrum looking

Unknown Speaker 14:23
Oh, I have not seen that. I did see that. I saw it but I didn’t see it. so

Damona 14:27
fabulous. cringe worthy at moments. But actually, you could. everyone listening could learn a lot about relationships by watching what these people go through, because they have to teach them just basic social skills and interaction like things that I assume for a lot of the people listening should just come naturally. But it’s reinforces what I say that dating is really a learned skill. And so sometimes we need to just break down all of the steps and make sure that you’re building the relationship in the right way from the beginning.

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Netflix is full of shows like that. I’ll give you two more for homework. Okay, on twisted relationships. One is called Dr. Foster. Okay, which is a UK show a must see on Netflix, I’m

Damona 15:10
sure they have a bad name, Beatrice,

Unknown Speaker 15:13
Beatrice, and then the other ones, another UK show called liar. And those are both about twisted relationships. But a lot of the things you talk about are exhibited in these people. And to your point, is it you the couple, or is it you the individual that’s making the relationship go sideways? If you focus on yourself and make yourself better, is that going to make collectively a better relationship? Now you’ve got to worry about the other side.

Damona 15:39
So much to do. You’re giving me homework barns. That’s

Unknown Speaker 15:43
what we do.

Damona 15:44
This is why I listened to the pop culture show, which all of you can hear at the pop culture or wherever you get your podcast, because Barnes keeps us up to speed on what we need to know whether we’re talking dating and relationships or what’s happening on the hutzler or anything else? You’re my source Barnes and I appreciate you being here.

Unknown Speaker 16:05
We have to have you on our show soon. It’s Mondays at 10am we dropped a new episode.

Damona 16:08
I love it. I can’t wait to be on that show and I can’t wait to have you back to do the headlines with me again here on dates inmates. Thank you. That’s for dish. We’ll be back with updates and actionable advice in my date of the union address with Francesca hoagie. But first, I have to ask, can we be friends? Can we be friends with benefits? It’s not what you think. In case you haven’t heard already, I have a Patreon group for my true friends who want a little more support and love. If you’re looking for a community of daters and behind the scenes insights from me, then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits on Patreon. You can check it slash dates and mates. And when you become a member of our community, you get a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. You’ll also get access to the behind the mic live stream talk back each week all about that week’s episode, plus secret behind the scenes content from over 300 episodes of dates and mates and 10% off of any of my online programs too. There’s even more, you can read all about slash dates and dates, and you can join for just $5. And that will allow me to hopefully keep the show going for another eight more seasons as well. Okay, don’t go anywhere. The date of the union is coming right up.

Welcome back. I am here with one of the Dayton mates fan favorites dating coach Francesca hoagie. You’ve heard her wonderful advice and stories on this podcast before but if you’re new here frannie is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen To be single, fun fact she was also a contestant on two seasons of the CBS reality show survivor. Francesca is the co host of the podcast romantical and the host of the awesome podcast, dear frannie uncommon conversations about love. And she’s here to have some uncommon conversations with me and do this date of the Union address, right? So please give big smooches to my friend Francesca hoagie. Hey, hi. Thank you hear me, Danny, welcome back. Thank you. Thanks. I’ve been going down

Unknown Speaker 18:38
since the last time you’re on the show. You know, the world just it’s it’s, it’s changed like 20 times in the last six months. It’s pretty extraordinary.

Damona 18:49
That is exactly why I wanted to do this show because we talked about dating like, I’ll be honest, I started out super optimistic me two months ago. Yeah. And I was like, this is great, you guys. Yeah, sure. All my listeners

Unknown Speaker 19:00
are laughing or laughing right now we were all so excited. We’re like, this is actually gonna be the best thing ever everyone.

Damona 19:06
And I think there are positives to it. Like I was saying it slowing down the dating process, which was on hyperspeed and really needed something to recalibrate it. I wasn’t really counting on this, but here we are.

Unknown Speaker 19:21
Here we are. But yeah, yeah.

Damona 19:23
Now like we’re, what, five months into quarantine? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 19:27
10 years, one or the

Damona 19:29
other. It feels like 10 years. And I feel like from my clients and the listeners who’ve written into the show, I feel like the the tone has changed a little bit. And the fatigue is setting in and the frustration is coming up again. So what are you seeing in your practice?

Unknown Speaker 19:47
Yeah, I’m seeing the same thing. I was really really optimistic at the beginning of quarantine and I saw my clients I think, when it first when everything first started walking down there Really was this wave of people who were like, Okay, well, this is it is what it is, it’s not going to be for that long. So like, let’s just, you know, have some video dates and get to know people. And that was happening, like very much happening for my clients like pretty easily at the beginning and I was like, Oh my god, this is amazing. Everybody’s gonna meet their husband and quarantine are gonna be all these like, you know, Corona love stories. And there will be there will be but I’ve just seen it kind of like that initial wave just kind of crash a bit. And it seems like, like you said that fatigue is set in. Which by the way, I mean, even if it wasn’t a pandemic, like this is not, you know, summertime is not the best time to be looking for a serious relationship in general. Because people are always more distracted in the summer and just have, you know, shorter attention spans. And so I thought that kind of the fact that we are still all quarantining for the most part, hopefully would extend This kind of honeymoon period, but it’ll come back around because you know, fall was coming. cuffing season is coming.

Damona 21:06
cuffing season is right around the corner. I’m a big fan of the zoom dates, but I have always said, and for my patreon friends with benefits, there’s a there’s a special video I did that’s just on how to ace a video chat date, because it’s a separate process. And I think a lot of people were kind of slipping into just like, oh, you’re here, let me just click into, you know, the Bumble video or asked or meet me on zoom. And it was like you said it was not very mindful and very fatiguing. And we have to still have something to build up to we have. We’ve lost that anticipation, right? Because there used to be that I’m going to meet this person for the first time. What am I going to wear? How is my hair going to be done?

Unknown Speaker 21:51
Why are they did all that like yeah, excitement. Yeah, it’s so

Damona 21:54
intimate, bringing someone into your home like you’ve never met them and now they’re visiting But still, yeah, that’s a whole different level. It’s a whole different level. Totally. We even get there. You wrote this fantastic blog. You guys when I mean not gender, y’all, this blog is so, so on the money about all the things that you should be doing right now, if you’re looking for love. So she says she’s in a relationship now. But she says, I’m a love coach, if I was single, here’s how I would find love during COVID. So can we just run through it? I want people to check out this blog too. But I can let’s give some of the highlights. You in the blog, you differentiate between dating, traditional dating sites and dating apps. I’ve talked about this on the past in the past on the show, but for the noobs. Let’s get everybody up to speed on the difference between those two things.

Unknown Speaker 22:51
Yes, absolutely. And thank you for the kind words by the way, from the heart girl. So a traditional dating site, you know, Think the will the classic one Right like so you think of you go on a site, you can put in your search parameters, you run searches, the site suggests people to you, you can message anybody you want, whether they live, you know, down the street from you or across the world. So it’s really you have more controls over your kind of what you’re doing on the site, just because of the way that it’s set up. And also, the profiles on a traditional dating site are they’re just more detailed. So, you know, if you’re looking at a dating app, you might have 400 500 characters say everything you need to say about yourself, which is not a lot of not a lot of room, you know, basically like two tweets. So the subtle lot of room but if you go on to a traditional site, then you can say as much as you want. I mean, you don’t want to say too much, right? You don’t want to bore people with your life story, but you know you you have more of a chance to express yourself a little bit more Your personality, who you’re looking for the kind of relationship you want to have. And you know, all apps have a free version, most of them also have a paid version where you can, you know, upgrade to get some extra bells and whistles. But for the most part, the app experience is a free one. And the traditional sites also usually have a free version, but you do want to pay because the paid versions are where you can really get the full benefit of a traditional site. So the cost, the just the functionality, you know, like I said, on a traditional site, you can sort of run searches and be a little bit more targeted about who you’re looking at. Whereas on a dating app, the algorithm is just basically showing you everyone in your area, who generally is the gender and age that you’re looking for. I mean, you can kind of pay to get a little bit more specific on certain apps, but you’re definitely casting a wider net on apps.

Damona 24:55
Yes, that’s so true. And you also talk about the algorithm and Yes, thank you. I say this to my clients to like, you can be on Coffee Meets Bagel, which is a great app, y’all. But you get one match a day there. And there’s not really much I can do in the algorithm for you. But on like an OkCupid, or a match, I have different ways that I can search I can do I have different ways that I can signal to the app, what you’re looking for. Yes, right. Yeah. So do you feel like it’s a it’s a either or situation or you feel like everybody should be on both a traditional and an app? And is there a max number of apps that you’ve seen people be able to juggle?

Unknown Speaker 25:40
Yeah. So I think ideally, you’d be on to, okay. And I when I say ideally, I mean, this is this is current, okay, so this is August 2020, you know, COVID-19 times, three months ago, four months ago, five months ago, I wasn’t recommending that, that people be on both our traditional site and an app. The reason And I’m doing that now is because because on a traditional site, the bar to entry is a little bit higher, you know, you’ve got to pay, you’ve got to put more work into your profile. My suspicion is that this is the time that you want to, you want to go there, that’s where you want to be like, if you’re looking for something serious, that’s where you want to be. If you’re willing to put in the time and the effort to really get to know someone without the instant gratification of like getting to hang out with them. I think that you are more likely to find more people who are willing to invest that same amount of time on a traditional site, which is why I’m recommending that right now. Particularly for the person who has been on a dating app and you’re feeling really like frustrated, burnt out, you know, you feel like you’re out of matches, like you’ve seen everybody you know, in your city or town, then that’s a good opportunity. Also, I spoken to people who are now because of everything that’s going on and maybe their jobs situation, they’re more geographically flexible, because they’re like, well, I live live in New York, but I, my job now is going to be I can work wherever. So maybe I live somewhere where I can have a better quality of life. So they’re even more open to moving. And if you’re more open to moving, you can go on and OkCupid or match. And you can say, all right, these are the five cities I’m interested in, and you can start running searches for people in those cities, and start connecting with them. So yeah,

Damona 27:22
that I have to admit I’m, I’m definitely adapting my traditional strategy a little bit. And, and it’s also specific to each client. Like I have a client who’s looking for something very specific. And she’s kind of gotten to the end of the Bumble role. And yeah, so I was like, normally, I would not say you need to be on four apps at a time. But if you’re looking for something really specific and you’re eager to get things rolling, like if you don’t have time to play the long game for whatever reason, you know, you’re goals or biological clock or whatever, then maybe this is a good time because you’re working from home and you have more free time. Maybe this is a good time to juggle more apps, as long as you can be active on it. Right? Like, you don’t want to be missing messages and, and being flaky.

Unknown Speaker 28:17
Yeah, exactly. And it basically comes down to Yeah, what is your bandwidth? You know, I mean, I have some clients for, you know, to be on one platform is enough, like, that takes enough of their time, their energy they get, they get enough matches, you know, so they have plenty, they already like, you know, I have plenty of people to, to communicate with who they feel are more or less fitting their criteria. So if you’re in that position, then great, like, do what you’re doing. But if you’re not in that position, and you do have the bandwidth to expand and, and again, I was writing this blog post from my perspective, like this is literally me Francesca hoagie. If my boyfriend and I broke up tomorrow. What would I Well, if we broke up tomorrow, I wouldn’t actually go right now I have to rethink my whole life. But

Damona 29:08
we’re talking how you and your boyfriend, Matt, because you also talk about this. Yeah. And the blog and I think this is really important for a lot of folks listening but especially women, women, folks, yes. Yes, you met IRL. But then you hadn’t you hunted him down girl. I did I do that and YG.

Unknown Speaker 29:32
I met him very briefly on the street on the corner of sunset and tahini and Beverly Hills. And

Damona 29:41
that’s a good corner. It was by the way, it was.

Unknown Speaker 29:45
It was like a brief exchange. He was with his brother and we had all just been at the screening and his brother recognized me. So his brother like was like, Oh, hey, how’d you like the movie? So I started talking to them briefly. And I just thought he was really interesting. I just thought he was like, I know that. We’re just Something about him and our brief interaction. And we had this moment where we kind of made eye contact and like, there was just kind of like, oh, there’s just something there, you know. And I just really listened to my intuition. And my intuition just was really like screaming. You’re like, you’re supposed to keep talking to him. And I didn’t know why. But then we went our separate ways, because he was getting in an Uber to go home

Damona 30:24
and be weird to chase the nuber. Right? Yeah. But we have social media,

Unknown Speaker 30:34
social media, and I knew it too. I was like, I have enough information about him to find him because I knew that he was a scientist. I knew that he worked. I knew which hospital he worked at in LA. I knew he was Australian. I knew his name. So I was like, this is this. I can do that. I got this.

Damona 30:53
And then dm him.

Unknown Speaker 30:55
Yeah. So I slid into his DMS on Twitter and I just said they were was really nice meeting you. And that was my like, that was like my digital link. You know, it was like if he’s interested, because I didn’t know if he could have been married, he could have been, you know, from what I could see from his Twitter. I couldn’t tell, but it was all science. So I was like, there’s nothing personal there. And so, you know, he could have been gay, like, a million things. So I had no idea but I was like, if he’s available and interested, this is enough for him to like latch on to. And it was. So that’s how we met.

Damona 31:29
Oh, my gosh, I am so impressed with because I think a lot of women would, I’m always saying on the show, to take initiative and just just open the door. It’s not changing the rules of chivalry, just to be to show that you’re open, right. But I think a lot of people are afraid that if they start the relationship off that way, that then the whole gender dynamics of the relationship. We’ll be off forever. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 32:02
yeah. Well, part of it is like there’s, there’s this definitely takes a little finesse like this is dating. I love dating. And I think that dating is so important because you learn so much you learn so much about yourself. You learn so much about other people you learn so much like, just about what’s really important in connection if you if you do it the right way, if you do it intentionally and you actually pay attention to what you’re doing. And there’s a difference between being proactive and doing something like I did, which was like, number one cyber stalking him. And number two sliding into his DMS right like me doing that. Some people be like, Oh my god, I don’t want to chase the guy. I don’t want to chase the guy either. And I didn’t chase him. I did take a very proactive, bold step and I call this like one bold step. You can take one bold step and see if the guy is like, oh, wow, I didn’t even know this was an option for me. So I’m gonna pick up the ball and run with it because What happened? Like, I sent him that message I said it was, you know, it was really nice meeting you and he like responded right away, he commented on something that I said in my bio, he like asked me out to dinner like, you know, it wasn’t like, I didn’t have to pull teeth to get that. keep that going. I was just like, pushing it into motion, because there are guys who are good guys who, like they need a little bit of encouragement. Like he, there was no way that he thought in the three minutes that we interacted, that he’d be like, Oh, let me ask her out. Like, he’s just not that kind of guy. Like, he doesn’t have that kind of game, you know? So, and I could tell that he wasn’t that kind of guy. It wasn’t that he wasn’t confident. I could just tell like, if I’m interested in him, I just need to make sure it’s clear and then see what he does. Now if you meet a guy and the guy is super, like suave, Mr. Cool player type that guy, you don’t need to make a bold move with that guy. Right? Right. And you guy will you be chasing?

Damona 33:57
Yeah, right. And you also have to listen to what’s happening, like so many times I hear from people that like, Oh, I wrote him, but then he didn’t write me back. And I don’t know if I should send another message. And I’m like, why are they responded to?

Unknown Speaker 34:12
He responded with his his silence was a response. It was a response. It was a communication, just looking for.

Damona 34:19
Yeah, well, that’s the problem, right? We have expectations. And then when our expectations aren’t met, then sometimes we try to change the narrative or the information that reinterpret the information that we’re getting. But absolutely, I want to keep this going on a positive note, because I am still optimistic. I am still optimistic about finding love in a pandemic.

Unknown Speaker 34:40
Yeah, and

Damona 34:41
I’ll let everyone check out the blog for the rest of the tips because there’s

Unknown Speaker 34:46
10 of them. They all bear 10 different things as fire right now.

Damona 34:50
This is like all the stuff that I would tell you as well. Like, she literally just gives you the roadmap right there. So we’ll put the link in the show notes. But before we do that, I also want Want to talk about social distance dates? Now I’m seeing a lot of people are like, Okay, what is the timeline here? Now that we’ve we’ve connected? Maybe we’ve done a virtual date or two or phone call and a verge zoomed? I don’t know, connected. But where do we go from here? Mm hmm. Are you finding that people are starting to feel comfortable with moving offline into social distance dates? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 35:26
definitely. Definitely. Yes. At first, it was all virtual. Nobody wanted to go anywhere. People weren’t even discussing it. Really. The possibility of meeting in person. But now Yeah, people are definitely doing socially distance dates and there are ways to do it that are safe. I mean, Okay,

Damona 35:43
tell us about that. Like, what’s the etiquette?

Unknown Speaker 35:46
So like, if I were dating right now, like something that I would do is I would say like, okay, we can meet here and, you know, get a cup of coffee, get an ice cream, get a juice and like, take a walk together, you know, and six feet apart. And yeah, as long as you’re like you’re outside, you know, so there’s airflow. That’s really important. You have a mask on. Right? So that’s also really important.

Damona 36:09
A cute mask. Okay? Don’t just get, you know, the surgical blue and white situation. Yes. Why do you stop a cute mask?

Unknown Speaker 36:18
Yeah, we’re gonna be wearing masks for a long time people. So invest in a couple of masks that really capture your style, your personality, like don’t just do the straight, you know, surgical mask.

Unknown Speaker 36:31
Day. Yeah, that’s a missed opportunity. That’s a missed opportunity.

Damona 36:34
Yes, I love how you said that. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 36:38
So that you know, so you could do that with lots of different things. So basically, if you’re outside and you could do something like you know mini golf, you don’t have to be you know, you have some space together. Have some space apart. We went to a drive in movie last week. I know you did too. You guys also want to drive in movie,

Damona 36:56
you know, I went to see RuPaul drive and drag Coming to a city near you, everybody. It was okay. But it was nice to be outside. It was a

Unknown Speaker 37:07
movie and it was nice. It was fun.

Damona 37:09
But then you have to be in a car with the person so like we had a whole thing

Unknown Speaker 37:14
you don’t have to be in the car with the person because you guys can park next to each other.

Damona 37:19
Okay, okay I’m with you. I’m with you. Yeah I like I tell I had I went with a friend so I tested before I went and she had like a fairly recent test I was like I can accept this

Unknown Speaker 37:32
but we’re getting a car right now like that’s just don’t just don’t do that aren’t

Damona 37:37
next to each other yet.

Unknown Speaker 37:39
Other timing, you could you could go on a picnic, you could go to you know, you can have a picnic on the beach or in the park. You could go for a hike, like anything that you’re outside. You know if you guys if you happen to like I don’t know like playing tennis and you know, you want to play tennis together. Like there are ways to do it and still be and still be safe now. Does it require a little bit more creativity? Yes. Does it require a little bit more effort? Yes, but it’s worth doing. And, you know, that’s, I mean, listen, love is, and this is my point of the blog too, because I’m not expecting other people to look at this blog and be like, Oh, I’m gonna do all these 10 things if this crazy person would do, but I would do all those 10 things if I was really motivated to be in a relationship, because it’s that important to me, you know. And so if it’s important to you, this pandemic is not going to be over anytime soon. And I wouldn’t be willing to put my dating life My hopes were finding a relationship on hold indefinitely. It’s life is just too short for that. So does it take a little bit more effort? Does it take a little bit more determination? That’s, that’s okay. That’s good. And I mean, I think Dimona, like, wouldn’t you agree that the fact that one of the reasons that modern dating has gotten so challenging Pre pandemic is because there were so many people who weren’t put willing to put in effort. And they weren’t actually determined to meet someone like they wanted to meet someone. But if they got frustrated after a few days, like they were out of there, you know, it’s just there was

Damona 39:15
too much happening where nobody could focus on what was in front of them, I think, yeah, we just we had too many options. And now, I think what I’m seeing is that people are also realizing as we’ve been separated for so long the value of having someone that you can trust to go through this experience with and so now I’m actually seeing a lot of relationships that have been on hyperspeed and people that I mean, we did an episode on this a few months ago of people that really bonded, met right before the pandemic and bonded very quickly, like practically moved in together. And so I think there’s going to be a little bit of recalibration on that front, but the timeline once you connect with people I think is actually going to be faster than it had been. I think we had it backwards before. It was like fast, fast, fast, get to the date like sword, sword, sword, sword sword. But then it was a long time to get to commitment and figuring out what was what for a lot of my clients and really, you know, getting to DTR and figure out if this person was real or not. I think now, we’re we’re flip flopping that so we’re, we’re moving into it a lot more slowly. But then once you are like, Okay, this is my person. Now we have to test we have to bubble together and now now we’re bonded very fast.

Unknown Speaker 40:41
Yeah. And I think that makes sense. And that and that’s why we have been so optimistic, you know, starting starting from the start of this that we’re like, oh my god, this is amazing. This is going to slow everything down and give people an opportunity like force people to actually get to know each other communicate what they’re looking for. See if they have to Shared values, see, and if all of those things are connecting, then it’s like, Alright, well, let’s just do this. Like, we just now we just need to see if we actually, like get along and have chemistry and like being together, and that is something that you can determine rather quickly. It’s those other bigger questions that really take time. So I think that, you know, I think that the relationships, I think that a lot of the relationships that are going to come out of this time are going to really illustrate the power of doing just that. They’re going to be a lot of really great relationships that last with people who they may just have that clarity of knowing, like, yeah, we want the same things in life. Like we have the same level of commitment. And we know how to support each other through challenging times because we were there for each other. Like, this person has a reason that I’m still standing after, you know, however long of this pandemic, so

Damona 41:55
yes, it’s definitely changing things. I just made me think I have to shout out one of My former clients who she actually had a destination wedding plan, and I kid you not Franny a year, a little over a year ago, year and a half ago, she came to me and she was like, I don’t know how I’m going to find love again. I’ve been divorced X number of years. And she found somebody, they were going to have a, a wedding abroad, and COVID happened. So now they’re just like, fine. Let’s just do let’s just do a little ceremony, just with family, tie the knot and get it done. So she’s actually getting married this week. Her name is denat. So I’ll be sharing her story on the blog and I’m sure on the show again, but yeah, you know, that will give everyone some hope that even though Yes, COVID is changing our plans. In some ways. It’s changing for the better now she’s going to be married even sooner than she thought she would be.

Unknown Speaker 42:51
That is fantastic. And I also have a client who got married last week. And yeah, and I’m so glad that they did it because first they were going to Wait. And because they were originally supposed to get married this summer, and then they were going to push it, but they just changed it. Like they just did like a very small ceremony on a Wednesday afternoon, like, with just their immediate family in their front yard like but it was, but it was awesome. And she was someone who had never been in a relationship before we started working together and now she’s married to a wonderful man.

Damona 43:24
I love that. Okay, hopefully that is inspiring for all the people listening. They’re like, I gotta do 10 things.

Unknown Speaker 43:32
Just do things you have to be open, you know, and it’s a mindset because it’s like, it’s not like it’s it’s home. It’s not homework. It’s just like, all right, love this. This is the mind strategy. We would encourage anyone who’s looking for love to just embrace and this is the mindset that I truly did very intentionally and consciously embrace for myself, which is I know that love is 100% possible for me. So my only job is to open my myself up to receive it however it shows up. I know he’s out there. I don’t know where he is. He could be around the corner. It could be I don’t know where he is. So why would I shut down any Avenue a potentially a spining each other?

Damona 44:15
You you are a woman after my own heart.

Unknown Speaker 44:19
Like, why would you do that? Like what? Like why would you just like Intel or willfully just decide like, No, I’m not going to do these and you know a lot of people they consider themselves like, I’m out there I’m trying and then like, Okay, what are you doing? And like they maybe they’re on an app that they swipe a few times a week, and then they get frustrated? And then they made it they deleted it. And then they download it A month later and they

Damona 44:41
complain to their girlfriends about being single.

Unknown Speaker 44:43
Yeah. And I’m like, Well, what else? Like that’s not that’s not being out there? like no, that’s not a job to pay your bills. Is that how you would look for a job? Like no like if you want to if you’re determined like you’re put in the effort.

Damona 44:57
All right, everyone, you heard it here. If you want,

Unknown Speaker 45:01
yep, if you want to find love, you got a date like it’s your job, granny. It’s really it’s your hobby. It’s your passion. It’s exciting. It can be fun. It should be fun, make it fun. Maybe that’s my job. You know? It’s like Yeah, well make it make it a job that you love. How can you make it exciting? How can you be more confident? How can you be more yourself so you take away all of that anxiety of like trying to be something that you think someone else wants? Like, you know, there’s just so many ways to make dating such a more joyful experience. Completely

Damona 45:34
frannie This is too good. Your advice is too good. I need you to stick around for the next segment. Because we have questions from our audience and I need you to help me answer them. Okay. Hello, friend. Welcome back. You have questions. We have answers and this is dear Dimona,

Unknown Speaker 45:58
damona help me

Damona 46:00
This one comes to us in an email from D we’ll call her D. She says is two weeks too soon to start saying I love you. I met someone who is working abroad and we have established quite a nice text relationship. He is head over heels for me and keeps telling me he loves me. We haven’t met yet. I have strong feelings for him, but this is making me uncomfortable. How do I elegantly ask him to slow down?

Unknown Speaker 46:27
This is a tough one. And it’s tough because All right, I’m just gonna be unfiltered here. Okay, is that okay? All we do

Damona 46:36
on this show that

Unknown Speaker 46:38
so it is not a good sign that there’s somebody that you’ve met online, who lives abroad who after two weeks is telling you that he loves you. There are scammers out there who actually you know, prey on people and this is what they do. They do this love bombing thing and they just, they just tell you the greatest thing since sliced bread They know what they’re doing. They know exactly what to say. I’ll just put it this way. If he, he starts saying anything about any kind of financial transaction. Just know that this is not a real person. I mean is a human but not this person is not who you think they are. Did she say that she’s only spoken to him on the phone? text, text? Text chip? Oh, yeah. I mean, at the very least, please insist that you do a video call and see who this person is. Mm hmm. And if this person is actually who they say they are, I would be very surprised, wouldn’t you Dimona?

Damona 47:37
Yeah, and I think there are also some red flags around the if you ask them for a video call. And they only want to do it at weird hours or like, they give all these excuses for why they can’t have their camera on or like anything that makes you feel like this isn’t transparant also sometimes, like an accent that you don’t expect, I’ve heard that happen before. Yeah, I’ve heard

Unknown Speaker 48:07
that happen a lot, right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 48:08
you’re like,

Unknown Speaker 48:11
you know, Max, but the accent is clearly not. Yes,

Damona 48:16
yeah, there are a lot of signs here that this could be a catfish. I like to keep it optimistic too. So let’s just say in, in some universe that maybe this person actually is is legit. And like, I find that also in quarantine. People are kind of moving a little bit more quickly when they like I was saying in the first segment in the earlier segment, when you’re, when once you’ve connected with someone, they’re moving things forward too quickly. So if that happens to be the case for D, I would say just be really blunt about how you’re feeling like this is moving way too fast. I need to get to know you better. You don’t have to be elegant about it. You can you can be direct. Anyways, we have another question and we’re running out of time. Franny. She said do you have recommend on physical intimacy, what if you find someone that you would like to start a committed physical relationship with? How do you navigate and set safety agreements? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 49:12
yeah. Well, I think the question should you have the answer in the in the question, right? Like, it is something to navigate, you do need to have agreements. So you need to talk about it. What’s your comfort level? What are the parameters? You know, when are you guys getting tested with some regularity? How often are you coming into contact with people who aren’t that you know, each other? I those are just all conversations that you have to have. And I would be really clear about it. I wouldn’t, you know, I wouldn’t tiptoe around it. I’d be like, you know, really honest, like, I really want to, you know, I really want to go there. I’ll be like, I’m ready. I think you’re amazing, but how can we do this and really be safe and make sure that we’re taking every precaution to protect each other and, you know, other people think?

Damona 49:59
I think it’s ongoing conversation to like totally. I’ve been hearing from people in relationships that are like, my, my spouse is ready to like move out into the world and I’m still cocooning and nervous. Yeah. And they have different tolerance, risk tolerance. So I think this is a conversation obviously if you can get tested or self quarantine before you actually take the masks off and become intimate with someone and like really think this through what it because once it only takes one it’s kind of like the STI conversation right? It only takes one right One false move exactly one

Unknown Speaker 50:45
time ever and everything is fine. Right? Yeah.

Damona 50:50
Right. So I mean, we live in Los Angeles where we’re testing is free and available. I haven’t even say I tested you know, before I did the ripples drag race I got to same day test producer Leo will attest to this. I got to same day test. I got the next the results by the next morning. It was unbelievable. I know not everybody is in that situation. Yeah. So yeah, it was amazing. You guys. I’m like, I’m like a testing junkie now. I just want to know, I want to know, am I okay? Am I okay? Do it, do it. It’s so great. I mean, if you if you feel like i, this is I do at any time my situation changes, like, if we go out of town, or if like when our babysitter came back, like if your situation changes, it’s a good idea to test if you can get one but if you’re dating someone, and maybe you’re in a state where that’s not available, you have to kind of think ahead of how are you going to prepare right to get to that point. And then you also have to talk about what are they doing after that? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I tested and I’m fine. And now I’m gonna go to like Abba zoo. And, you know, go chill on a boat with opa.

Unknown Speaker 51:59
While my closest friends

Damona 52:04
I wouldn’t be having that. I’m not gonna judge your life. If that’s how you want you and your boo want to do it, that’s fine. But make sure that you’re on the same page and that you understand their risk tolerance in comparison to yours. Right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 52:16
absolutely. Yeah. And that’s another and it’s also it’s it can it has for some people, like you said, become a bone of contention. You know, if you can’t agree on the rules, if they’re, I mean, I had a client who was dating somebody who he was, you know, she has she’s immunocompromised. She was just concerned about her own health, for obvious reasons. Yeah. And they had, they were, they were seeing each other and they physically were seeing each other. They were seeing each other like a couple of nights a week. But then she found out that he was like, having friends over to his apartment and all these things and she’s like, that’s not what we agreed to, you know, and it and it became like, they actually like stop seeing each other.

Unknown Speaker 52:57
I call this COVID cheating, like infidelity right there is total

Unknown Speaker 53:01
code infidelity. And she was like, I’m not taking like, you know, she felt very disrespected. And yeah, they weren’t able to reconcile it. So that is a real possibility. But I think that you know, just talking about it, just being really honest with each other is the way to go.

Damona 53:17
That is the way to go for most relationship challenges I really

Unknown Speaker 53:21
can’t always answer

Damona 53:25
all of your answers. I love your uncommon conversations about love on dear frannie and

Unknown Speaker 53:30
I love it when you join us here on dates and mate. So I hope you will come back again soon. Anytime. I love being here. Thank you for having me. demona

Damona 53:38
I hope you like the new intro for deer demona the beautiful soulful voice you heard was my dear friend Jenny Wren, and also thank you Alexander, for your wonderful question. Dear Dimona cries. We heard you we’ve listened and also shout out to our composers James Morris for the brand new dates and mates intro and for the deer demona Intro This is Episode 322 of dates and mates. My guest co host today both have fabulous podcasts that you just have to hear. You can find frannie on deer frannie uncommon conversations about love and barns and his crew are the Pop Culture Show. Look for the links in the show notes and find it wherever you are listening to this podcast right now. As always, we’ll give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles, and the best gifts that are fit to print on the show recap at dates and mates calm. And don’t forget to check out that Patreon group and support the show for just $5 at slash dates and mates. You don’t want to miss that new behind the mic series and meet other folks in the Friends with Benefits community. So come on slash dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. We are banking all these questions you have for future episodes. So don’t be shy DM me and let me know what’s on your mind and how you felt about today’s episode. I’ll see you next week with more modern love advice. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Real Housewives & Date Coaching Demo


Hello Lovers!

Welcome to Season 8 of the Dates & Mates podcast!


Modern Love has changed dramatically since the start of the show — actually, since the start of this season.

When this show first launched, the founder of Bumble was still working at Tinder, Love Island was still lost at sea, and Brad & Angelina hadn’t even gotten married yet – let alone divorced.

Times have changed but we’ve been here with you through all of it keeping up to date on the latest news, trends, apps, cultural shifts, and advice on love in the modern world.

This season will feature the top voices on dating and relationships plus even more celebrity guests sharing their own personal love stories.

Speaking of which, today we’re giving you an exclusive peak inside Damona’s coaching program and one of her celebrity clients has agreed to show you what the start of her coaching journey looks like.

She’s a cast member of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she’s an actress, reality star, and fashion model. She’s the one and only Garcelle Beauvais.


But before we get all up in Garcelle’s business, we have to talk about this week’s headlines: 


Get your dating app messages poppin’

Are you having trouble getting good banter on dating apps? Bustle has given us a bunch of fun suggestions for your next dating app convo. Damona tells you what’s hot and what’s not.


The new rules of LDR

According to the latest advice in Cosmopolitan on long distance relationships, you shouldn’t knock it until you try it. In fact, there are lots of people in accidental, COVID-induced long distance relationships. Here’s how to keep the romance alive.


In Sickness and In Health

Whatever your opinion on Kanye’s politics, we can all agree that Kanye is going through it right now. Kim has asked that we all respect their privacy and be understanding of mental health struggles right now – not just for Kanye but for all people. This is actually really relevant to you and Damona explains why.



We are back by popular demand with the very first interview segment of the season! To kick off this season, Damona gives you a very special peak into my coaching program with a very special celebrity client.

You know Garcelle from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She also just launched a podcast called Going to Bed with Garcelle.

If you haven’t seen the show, let’s get you up to speed: Garcelle is ready to get back out there after healing from divorce. She is a talented, high powered career gal with a lovely family. So we’re going to help her set the tone for her new dating journey.


Things get personal:

  • Dating takes bravery
  • Give yourself some credit: just because marriages don’t always last, it doesn’t mean you haven’t had successful relationships.
  • Five steps to fixing your love life: mindset, sourcing, screening, presentation and flirting
  • Finding the common denominator in your past relationships
  • Moving past infidelity
  • What you want in a guy
  • Old Fashioned guys versus Chivalrous guys
  • Celebrity dating is… a little different
  • What to do when you’re don’t want to use dating apps

Make sure to check Damona out on Going to Bed with Garcelle later this season!


Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • From Lauren IG – I had a convo with a guy and it turns out he hates to go out and spend money. He came from a poor household and I have had no issue with funds. How can I suggest he be okay to go out without him feeling he needs the finances to do so?
  • IG: I’m about to be 50, what dating advice to you have for the older crew.



Best of all, it’s super affordable – Dates & Mates listeners like you get 10% off your first month with discount code DATESANDMATES 


So why not get started today? We all need someone to talk to right now. Go to so you can fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you’ll love.




What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

There are three different tiers. One for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others and keep this show going strong for another 7 seasons.

Sign up at for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Unknown Speaker  0:00  

It’s a tale as old as time. He’s handsome, debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.


Damona  0:10  

Okay, hold on, honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like,


Unknown Speaker  0:17  

we supposed to get my swipe. I just want somebody to share my life. What does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even because I don’t like to date I pick one and I make a mind kind of like caveman, I hit him over the head and I drag him home. You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or


Damona  0:33  

you can get on forward with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates in mates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers, it’s your certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman and I am welcoming you to season eight of the dates and mates podcast. Whoo. Wow. Modern love has has changed quite a bit since the start of this podcast actually, since the start of this year. But when this podcast first launched, let’s see the founder of Bumble was still working at Tinder, love island was still lost at sea. And Brad and Angelina hadn’t even gotten married yet, let alone divorced. So, times have changed.


But I have been here with you throughout all of it and keeping you up to date on the latest news, trends, apps, cultural shifts, and advice on love in the modern world. This season will feature top voices on dating and relationships as always, but we will also have even more celebrity guests sharing their own personal love stories. Speaking of which, today I’m giving you an exclusive peek inside my coaching program. And one of my celebrity clients has agreed to show you what the start of her coaching journey looks like. She’s a cast member of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She’s an actress, reality star and fashion model. She’s the one and only garcelle Beauvais. But before we get all up in our sales business, we have to talk about this week’s headlines, we’ll discuss the best opening lines to get your dating app messages poppin. And how Kim loves Kanye, in sickness and in health, plus the new rules of long distance relationships. Then, as always, at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including Can you date a cheapskate? And how can you find love when you’re 50 and fabulous? back by popular demand, it’s time to dish these dating dish. Our friends at bustle hooked you up with some opening line suggestions. So many times people write to me and say I don’t know what to say on these apps. How do I message in a flirtatious way? How can I get him interested? We swiped right we matched and then Things just died out. Well, my friends, bustle is telling you all the best lines to get your banter going. There were some that I loved and some that I thought maybe you should think twice about using my favorite ones were what’s your theme song? Hmm, that’s a that’s a that’s a thinker right? But it tells you a lot about the person. There’s another one I like always food you can’t go wrong and food. We’ve covered that before on the show and how many people actually mentioned food and their dating profiles. So if you say something like cheese pepperoni or Hawaiian, you will definitely get a reaction. I mean, I think there’s a definitive line in the sand between Hawaiian and no Hawaiian people. Right? And what are you binge watching right now this is a great one for generating conversation and especially in the situation many of us are in in the pandemic, we are on lockdown, and we are binge watching quite a lot of things. Now there are a couple of them that I thought might be a little bit much for an opening. line like, What’s your idea of a perfect first date? I think this is a great, great conversation piece for further along in the conversation but not right up front as an opening line. So be careful with that one. And the angel, why do you swipe right? How many of you have gotten this line? And you thought, Well, I don’t know. I had a couple glasses of wine and you look cute. So why’d you swipe right? It doesn’t give you a lot of information necessarily other than like, they’re already attracted to you. We know that they might not know why they swiped right, don’t put them on the spot. There was one that I wanted to share with you that I gave to a client this week, who she says is working like gangbusters. It was mint chip or rocky road, like I said cannot go wrong with the food references. So give it a try. Let me know how some of those lines work. We’ll put the link to the bustle article in the show notes. Now while we’re talking about making connections, long distance, I gotta hook you up with this new car. Mo article seven things you need to know about a long distance relationship because we’re finding a lot of us are in long distance relationship, you could be in a long distance relationship with someone who lives in your own city. A couple of these tips, one of them is mine. I’ll let you guess which one and then you can head over to the article and check it out. First one, don’t knock it until you try it. If you’ve heard me say on the show before, it’s really tricky. Don’t Don’t think that I am saying don’t do it. I’m just saying go in eyes wide open. think through what it will mean to live together again or one day. So a lot of times we don’t play it forward. And I’m always cautioning you don’t get too far ahead. But if you’re in a long distance relationship, you have to know that there’s at least the possibility that one day you’ll be together. Your routine you got to set the next time that you’re going to see each other and you go for quality, not quantity. Don’t obsess over having Constant Contact. I just saw someone Post today. Do you get mad when you see your partner is on social media if they haven’t texted you good morning? I mean, are we really checking it like that? Are we really social media stalking them all the time. There’s so many great tips. If you are engaging in a long distance relationship, you should check out this Cosmo article because we need to get your relationships growing and deepening even throughout this pandemic. One couple whose relationship seems to be strong in spite of some big challenges is Kim and Kanye. It’s been a minute since we’ve talked about Kim and Kanye on the show, but after his campaign rally for the birthday party, you may remember a couple weeks ago that Kanye is running for president. She had to just come out and say, Look, y’all, he is mentally ill. He’s done many interviews talking about the fact that he is bipolar. And I’m not going to give you a whole lesson on mental illness or what it means to be bipolar. But let’s just say that all All of this plays into the narrative that’s going on in the Kim and Kanye household right now. And that’s going on in Kanye his mind. And one thing I think we don’t talk about enough is the fact that mental illness is a big factor in relationships. And many of us coming through this pandemic are dealing with depression, anxiety, insomnia, you know, maybe it’s not as intense as what Kanye is going through. But everybody is coming to the table with their own stressors and with their own challenges, right, in the mental health space. So I actually think this is really good that Kim spoke on this. And she wanted everyone to give them their space to be able to process this and you may find that you’re in a relationship with someone who has already been dealing with mental illness or sometimes a trauma or a triggering event or I don’t know, maybe a pandemic might happen, and new mental health challenges arise. And if your relationship is strong, then the two of you can work through anything together. And if your partner wants to run for the birthday party, then you know you got to back them up and help them get the resources they need to move through it. Those are the headlines for today. Speaking of mental health, I have something very important to share with you. Before we get to garcelle.


We are back with the very first interview segment of the season. At the top of the show, I mentioned that I’m giving you a special sneak peek into my coaching program with a very special celebrity client. You know, garcelle Beauvais from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And she also just launched a podcast called going to bed with garcelle. So if you haven’t been following what’s happening on real housewives or her podcast, let me get you up to speed garcelle is Ready to get back out there after a breakup and a high profile divorce. She is a talented, high powered career gal with a lovely family. And we’re going to help her set the tone for her new dating journey today. So without further ado, please give big smooches to my girl garcelle Beauvais. I’m so glad that you’re here joining me for this experience. You’re a brave lady. Oh,


Unknown Speaker  9:29  



Unknown Speaker  9:31  

Holding on,


Damona  9:33  

you’ve always been brave. You’ve always been bold and you know, we got to talk during your podcast, going to bed with garcelle. And I’m curious, what made you start that podcast and then what made you interested in dating coaching and asking some of these kind of questions right now. You know,


Unknown Speaker  9:49  

for me, I’ll start off with going to bed with garcelle. That’s been a thing that once a month when I don’t have my kids on a Sunday, I would have friends over and we drink. We gossip If we talk and eventually conversations always came up about sex. So it was always a good time. And at the end of all these things, basically what I’m saying goodbye to everybody. People would say, why aren’t you doing this? This is a show. Why aren’t you doing this? So my producing partner and I were like, Okay, let’s do it. And it’s been so much fun. We’ve had amazing guests, you included, and it’s been really great to get women together to talk about sex and talk about their lives and talk about you know, what we’re doing moving forward in terms of COVID No, COVID quarantine, quarantine.


Damona  10:31  

So here we are, and you go there on the show. Do not hold anything back. And I know it takes a lot of bravery. But it also takes a lot of bravery. garcelle to be a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And have those cameras in going through all the experiences that you went through and I know you’ve had some ups and downs like


Unknown Speaker  10:55  

everybody else relationship. Yeah, like, you know, I think I’m a romantic At heart, I love love. And for some reason, the love that I have chosen in the past haven’t been lasting love, you know, I’d like to find my soulmate and you know, go off into the sunset with him.


Damona  11:13  

Wait, hold on, hold on, hold on, we have to give you some credit. We have to give you some credit because even though you haven’t found someone that you’re with for your entire life, you’ve had successful relationships. You’ve been in relationships that have lasted.


Unknown Speaker  11:28  

That’s true. Okay. Thank you. Thank you for making me take a moment and take that in. You’re absolutely right. I mean, obviously, my children, all three of my boys came from loving relationships. So that’s an amazing thing. But in terms of, you know, I want to find my soulmate. I’m the type of girl that if I go shopping, if I go, do I want that dress, I don’t know. It’s not for me. I know when I see something and I want it and that’s for me, and that’s what I want to find. Because I feel like in my relationships in the past, it’s been like, he’s a nice guy, he’s good on paper, and he’ll be fine but it hasn’t been like, that’s my man. And that’s what I want to find


Damona  12:08  

right now. I it’s a weird time, you know, coming out of the Coronavirus haze. So, right now, would you say your status is single and ready to mingle single singing


Unknown Speaker  12:20  

about mango? Mango.


Damona  12:24  

Alright, so let’s pretend like if we were beginning a coaching process just I know we talked about this on your show, but I’ll just run everybody through there’s five steps in my dating funnel. And if you’re not where you want to be in love one of those things, one of those elements of the funnel is broken. We just patch it up. When then we just flow some love through it and keep on moving. So the five, five funnel steps are mindset sourcing, screening, presentation and flirting and then follow through. Okay, so we’re going to start with mindset nurses. Pick up right You said you’re very clear you you know when you want something, you know


Unknown Speaker  13:05  

what it’s for me, I know what I want. I don’t waver.


Damona  13:08  

Yeah. Okay, so let’s, let’s take a look at what relationship patterns you’ve had in the past. And then, and then I’d like to take you on a little journey to get crystal clear on who that person is that you would like to meet. Oh my god,


Unknown Speaker  13:23  

girl, how much are we going to spend on this? Oh God, like


Damona  13:30  

an iceberg. And this is a mindset piece that we’ll get into today. Like maybe we’ll have you come back


Unknown Speaker  13:35  

the other element,


Damona  13:36  

but looking at your past relationships, is there any common denominator that you can realize between your marriages or I know you had another significant relationship that ended fairly recently? Is there any commonality that you see between them?


Unknown Speaker  13:54  

Two things, I think,


Unknown Speaker  13:58  

not that I forced things but I I tend to go Okay, let me just go along with this. So I’m sort of going in half in half out. And I think the second thing is that maybe because I love love, I may jump too quickly.


Damona  14:14  

Hmm. Would you say then that you moved into those relationships? Like it went from courtship into commitment very clearly.


Unknown Speaker  14:24  

Because I’m not a big data, or I haven’t been in the past. I’m like, you know, to me, I feel like it’s always like, oh, then I got to start all over again with what I like and what I don’t like and this is me and sort of like always getting to renew Reno someone. So I think the guys that have been in my life, I feel like because I don’t like to date, I pick one and I make a mind kind of like caveman I hit him over the head and I drag him home


Damona  14:48  

or you got to do it modern.


Unknown Speaker  14:51  

Exactly. Like I pick guys that I’m like, Oh, he’s nice and nice. It’s not enough or he safe. And then I realized maybe That wasn’t the safe guy for me.


Damona  15:02  

Well, and I know you’ve you’ve shared on real housewives that you dealt with infidelity in the past to in a marriage. And I know that’s a really tough thing to return to a relationship where you can trust after that. What has been your the your divorce happened?


Unknown Speaker  15:22  

My boys are 12 they were three so


Damona  15:27  

so how are you feeling now in terms of your ability to trust again? And


Unknown Speaker  15:33  

I feel like I’m a trusting person. And one of the reasons why didn’t want to sort of fix my marriage, if you will, was I felt like it would change the dynamic of who I am. I would become the person who checks your phone, where have you been where you were? Or are you and I didn’t want to become that person because that’s not who I am. And then obviously, it was a bigger, bigger thing in my marriage, but I feel like I can trust That’s not the issue. I feel like I can trust. I think I give everybody the benefit of the doubt


Damona  16:05  

Not a lot of people can do that. Sure. What do you think? Do you think that’s something in just the way you were raised or just your worldview or some process that you went through, to be able to trust?


Unknown Speaker  16:16  

I think it’s just my worldview. Honestly, I just feel like everybody, I always tell my kids like at the beginning of a school year, they’ll say, Oh, Mom, this teacher we’re getting I heard is really mean are really strict. And I always say, that’s somebody else’s experience. Like I want you to go when that’s not your experience. You go in and you figure out what your experiences with this teacher, and I think that’s what I tend to do. I tend to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Do I have a little jealousy bone? Yes, but not trusting.


Damona  16:47  

I think everybody to some extent, except for I don’t know, we didn’t episode last season with a dating coach who’s polyamorous so maybe that’s a whole different conversation. But that’s out there. Really? tip that you want. So talk to me then about the relationship that you envision for yourself, keeping in mind all of your past experiences and then what you see when you like, close your eyes. garcelle and you’ve visualize what your life will look like when you are with that soulmate that you said, is coming into your life who is he?


Unknown Speaker  17:24  

He excites me. He walks into a room and I smile from the inside out, because I know that’s my man and that doesn’t mean that he’s perfect, but he’s just my man. He is fun, full of life. Kind. He is tall, slender, I’m giving it all to you. He supports me and lets me be who I am and loves my children. My they don’t need a dad they you know, they just their dads in their lives. So it’s not about that I want somebody I can lean on emotionally, financially, sometimes. I mean, you know, I want someone who’s doing better than me in that way. Who loves to dance who loves to travel who wants to give back to the world, a guy who I can talk to all hours of the night and we can laugh, we can


Unknown Speaker  18:19  

have the same life goals and grow together.


Unknown Speaker  18:24  

That’s what I want.


Damona  18:25  

Well, I saw you, for those that are just listening to the podcast that couldn’t see the video, you just weren’t in it and you were really getting into the feeling, which is something that I’m always telling my clients and my listeners to do, like, what does it feel like to be with that person? Not just like, what qualities do they have no taller than slender.


Unknown Speaker  18:47  

Okay, I was giving you the picture girl.


Damona  18:50  

Well, you’re pretty tall yourself, right? Yes. And you’ve been a model and you need you need a guy of a certain caliber, but at the same time, you need him To make you feel good and still support you and your dreams and your goals and your vision, and I think a lot of times people miss out on I


Unknown Speaker  19:08  

want to be the girl. And when I say I want to be the girl, because I have such a strong personality, and this is something that I’m trying to switch up with my next relationship when that comes, is that not lead with what I do not lead with what I have accomplished, you know? And I feel like sometimes I tend to have a male dude tendencies in that way. And I want a guy who’s gonna make me feel like a girl.


Damona  19:33  

Now garcelle is this because you truly want that? And you truly feel that for yourself, that’s the life that you want, or is it out of like, feeling like you’ve taken on a masculine masculine role in past relationships. And you don’t want to feel that again? Or is it something where outside influences are telling you this is that you should try this


Unknown Speaker  19:59  

stuff. This is what I would love. And I feel like because you know, since the age of 17, I’ve been on my own, building my career. So I know how to take care of myself, I know how to take care of my household and my children. Being a single mom, I want someone that I can be a partner with. And I can feel like I don’t have to be more dominant because you’re my man. And I like I’m traditional in that sense. I would never take someone else’s last name. Again. I say that because it was so hard to get my last name back after I got adores, but I like the traditional, the traditional relationships in a way, to a certain extent.


Damona  20:43  

Yeah. What elements of that because this was something that came up on the TV show I did hashtag black love where they, one of the cast members said, Oh, I want a traditional man. But then he wanted her to be in the kitchen, cooking barefoot pregnant and then she was like, No, no, no, wait. What I actually wanted was a chivalrous Man,


Unknown Speaker  21:02  

clarify this man is what I’m looking for a chivalrous man who will open the door who will, you know, buy me gifts, but it doesn’t have to be expensive gifts. It’s the thought, but just making me feel like the girl that I’m not the dude.


Damona  21:15  

It’s an important distinction. But I’m, I’m really glad that you brought this up. Because I think for a lot of successful women, and a lot of the ladies that listen to this podcast, maybe they can’t relate to being being a celebrity, but they can relate to feeling like they’ve worked really hard for what they have, and they don’t want somebody to come in and take what they have hustled to get. But there’s also this feeling of not, you’re leading in so many areas of your life and especially as a single mom, right, you have so much on Yeah, that it’d be nice. I mean, even just to admit that it’d be nice to just have a partner who can take some of those risks. Exactly,


Unknown Speaker  21:53  

exactly. And that’s what I mean like somebody you can lean on or lean to.


Damona  21:59  

Alright, so So now we know who this guy is. So the next step in the process, we go into sourcing we go into, where would we find this person?


Unknown Speaker  22:09  

Girl? I have no idea.


Damona  22:14  

Okay, well, this is what I’m here for. So most of my clients, and the listeners know that online dating is the best bang for your buck for most of my clients. But I know you’re, you’re kind of you’re in a different situation, right? Because you’re looking to find somebody who is as established in their career as you are right? That isn’t looking to you because they’re like, well, I want to be with the garcelle. There. They’re actually wanting to be in partnership. Yeah, and even on RIAA, there’s a there’s a lot of like CNBC and we’ve talked about that before. So that leaves us with a couple of different options. There are still options for you girls at work. You got four areas where most of my clients meet someone, either Either through matchmaking and just to clarify, for those that don’t know and for you, I am a dating coach. I want to be your own you, I want you to be your own best matchmaker and to give you the tools to do this for yourself. I do collaborate with a number of matchmakers. And I think it’s a great tool, but we can talk about the pros and cons of it in a minute. The other way to me is at social gatherings and as we are moving out of Corona time, it’s a little bit of a trickier place. There’s chance meetings, same thing for Corona time, and then there’s meeting through friends. So of those four matchmaking, social gatherings, chance meetings, meeting through fans, which one would you want to tackle first?


Unknown Speaker  23:40  

chance meetings and meeting through friends because those seem to me like that’s more my lane.


Damona  23:46  

Okay. So when you go out into the world garcelle and let’s say you know, you’re just, you’re just doing you you’re just living our life.


Unknown Speaker  23:55  



Damona  23:57  

How do you feel like you present Do you? Do you? Are you keeping your eyes open? are you engaging with people with strangers that you don’t know? Or it’s funny,


Unknown Speaker  24:08  

I’ve had my friends in the past go, you move too fast, you don’t give people time you move too fast.


Damona  24:13  

Tell me what that means.


Unknown Speaker  24:15  

That means that, you know, we could be somewhere, let’s say we were at a party prior to, you know, all of this. And I would just walk through the party really fast. And a friend of mine, a gay friend of mine, who I was with and he goes, you move too fast, you don’t let you know. It’s sort of like you’re not taking the time to look and you’re not giving them the time to see. And I thought that was really interesting for him to say and I was like, wow, okay, so I don’t know how I moved through the world. I just me I don’t know.


Damona  24:44  

Wait, I’m gonna, we’re not gonna breeze through this. So fast through this. What is going through your mind like when you are when you’re showing up at a party or like, like you’re saying moving through the world and Moving through fast is it? Are you sort of thin slicing and looking at? Well, there’s nothing for me here or this isn’t the kind of environment or are you just completely unaware that that’s how people perceived?


Unknown Speaker  25:13  

perceived? I think I’m not aware. So I’m gonna say that one. I think I’m aware. I think I’m not taking the time to assess. You know, the room or Who’s there? I mean, I might see somebody who’s good looking, but obviously, if they’re have a ring on or they’re with someone, then I won’t. Obviously, I’ll keep it moving.


Damona  25:32  

Yes, yeah. So you look for that. Yeah, I’ll see you are and you are kind of assessing the room a little bit.


Unknown Speaker  25:39  

Oh, okay.


Damona  25:40  

Yeah, because if you are, if you’re looking around for things like rings, then you are looking with eyes that are looking for attraction. Okay. Right. So I don’t know if I agree with your friend. I mean, we’ll have to go out and hang and I’ll see I do this with clients. We’re all observed. Because we a lot of times we don’t know, like, you know, we we show up with not you because you’re always smiling. But you know, sometimes people will show up with resting bitchface you know and not have any idea that that when you when you even when you feel uncomfortable yourself sometimes you’ll put a mask on of trying to suss it out. Yeah. And that can be read from others as unapproachable and approachable or, like you’re not having a good time. So what I have my clients do is just resting smile face because it feels it feels dumb to walk into a room and you’re just like smiling, happy to be there. Yeah, it always looks like you are the life of the party. And it looks like you’re someone that’s approachable and that they would want to talk to, if you’re always smiling, but that’s why smiling, right?


Unknown Speaker  26:53  

It’s a hard adjustment for a lot of people. So yeah, so not for you.


Unknown Speaker  26:57  

intimidation, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was like What do you think guys are intimidated, but I have to believe that my guy won’t be intimidated.


Unknown Speaker  27:06  

You do have to buy my success, right?


Damona  27:08  

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And this is something that comes up a lot. It’s hard for many people to hear that. rejections, your protection. So if somebody is not enough for you garcelle if someone rejects you or is intimidated by you, because you’re too much, then that person was not enough for you or gay man the confidence in themselves, the right person. And interestingly, it might come in a slightly different package than you expect. But short right person will show up for you and will not be intimidated by all that you have will only want to add to it. I mean, of course you’re a gorgeous woman and you’re very successful. So for any man to approach you there’s there’s some level of courage confidence that he will have to have, yeah, but the right ones will be able to, to push through that and, and would would still approach you or engage with you. I mean, also for successful women, a lot of times, I have to remind them that they are in the driver’s seat in terms of queuing, an approach, like a guy needs to know that he’s not going to be blown off not going to make have a right make a fool of himself if he goes up and talks to you, right and the way that you can signal that without necessarily even having to approach him is just by like making extra eye contact, smiling or, or potentially finding a reason to engage in a casual conversation with him without any any goals of where it’s going to go. But just casual conversations and I talked about creating openings just create an opening for our magic to happen. For you,


Unknown Speaker  29:00  

that sounds beautiful.


Damona  29:02  

Okay, so once we are able to move out into the world, that’s that’s where we’ll start with that. And then when we talk about meeting through friends, how many blind dates have you been set up on before?


Unknown Speaker  29:14  

Oh, Mmm Hmm, maybe two in my life. How good


Damona  29:20  

were they? I’m single. Right? Right. A lot of times we’ll get setups from our friends and they are projecting they are putting on what they think you need. So they set you up with someone who is someone they would be attracted to. They’re single or someone that they they haven’t had this conversation that you and I had about right? What’s your vision? What are your goals, so if you could distill everything that we did a moment ago down into three must have qualities and one deal breaker I only give you one deal breaker, but three must haves and one deal breaker that then you could communicate to someone. And it doesn’t seem like you’re too shy about acknowledging that you’re single and ready to mingle. Am I right? Oh,


Unknown Speaker  30:09  

no, you’re absolutely right. Because how else am I going to fix it? Right?


Damona  30:14  

Right that I’m so glad you said that. garcelle that’s something that a lot of people have a hard time embracing. There’s a shame around singlehood that if I say, I’m single, if I acknowledge aloud to another person that I’m single, and I’d like to meet someone that I am, I am weak or that I’ve failed. And that’s not the case at all. It’s just it hasn’t been an anime.


Unknown Speaker  30:34  

I think society has done that to us, especially women. I’m you know, I have nieces who are grown women, and will have family reunions and people be like, Oh, my God, how are you still single? or Why are you single? Or, and I feel like that’s what society says that if you’re single, it’s almost like you’re no longer good. Or, you know, growing up you were an old maid if you weren’t married by 20 you know? Things like that, I think is what people set us up for. And then we take that on as if it’s true.


Damona  31:08  

Yeah, it’s a lot of old fashioned ideals. And yeah, that’s what’s exciting to me about this time is that we’re getting to rewrite a lot of the rules. And we’re getting to examine a lot of our preconceived ideas about even you know, gender identity and gender dynamics in a relationship, and even race and culture and religion and all these things that we were told were the most important things, right. And in today’s world, culture is is in constant flux. You have to be I think, to give yourself the best chance at love. We have to be open to the fluidity of that and open to evolving so I’m glad to hear that that you are but you know, society might not be ready, but society, Angel Matchmaker, so yeah, willing to share that with ya. The people close to you. And also One thing that I do with my clients is I have them make a connector circle, which goes beyond that first layer. Because a lot of times we’ll ask those people that are closest to us because that’s the least vulnerable thing to do to say to our girlfriends, some of those people that came over on Sunday maybe will say, hey, do you know anybody who’s single, but we don’t give them any specifics on who that person should be. And we don’t we we don’t go beyond just that. That immediate circle. And if your girlfriend knew the person that you probably would have met already, good point. So we want to go one degree beyond look at friends of friends. So it’s like create a little bit create like a phone tree, like those old fashioned phone and figure out who might know the kind of person that would have all of those interesting. Yeah, so it’s a little homework assignment for you. And then once you have those three qualities, you can find a way to communicate with That person directly and say, by the way, I’m single. And if you happen to know anybody who’s this, this and this, I would love to know, okay, now, you’re, you’re sort of training their brain to be a matchmaker for him, that is all the time when they say, Do you know anybody who’s single? And they’re like going through their mental database, right? Well, I don’t know. Like, now you’ve given me a job. Right? Right. Right. So okay, connector circle and your ideal mate three qualities. And then also, when we’re talking about meeting out in the world, I want to make sure that you’re in the space with like minded people. So based on the qualities that you told me, what’s what give me one or two places where you think that man might go like, let’s assume Coronavirus is kind of over where would you meet a man like that?


Unknown Speaker  33:56  

The first thing that came to my mind if I’m going to do it that way it would be I would Golf.


Unknown Speaker  34:02  

Oh, I love that. I love it.


Unknown Speaker  34:05  

Yes. And again, in my mind, do I know how to play? No. But yeah, I think that


Damona  34:10  

I love that and I, you know, I don’t know that I’ve fly it, say golf but you’re absolutely right and I’ll tell you like hot tip when I used to golf, which is a while ago, you know,


Unknown Speaker  34:27  

oh my god, that’s what we can do together.


Damona  34:29  

You want to go go? I terrible. I’m terrible now, but we could we could improve together but what I’ll tell you is that sometimes being terrible is not a bad thing. Because you can go to the driving range and there are a lot of guys there who would be willing to help you with your swing whether you ask them or sometimes not. Right, but just being there and looking like you’re open to having someone help you guide you that could


Unknown Speaker  34:54  

be a really great place. Awesome place


Unknown Speaker  35:01  

I don’t want to see a party because I go to a lot of parties and I feel like that’s not really it. Um, I don’t know the market. Huh?


Damona  35:10  

Look like just the grocery store like regular army like


Unknown Speaker  35:13  

where else Where else? It’s funny.


Damona  35:16  

Um, I got a hold of some stats from match calm about meeting at the grocery store. I know that’s a lot of people’s


Unknown Speaker  35:23  

fantasy the most.


Damona  35:25  

Yeah, it is. Especially now but it turns out not a lot of couples actually meet their online dating and meeting through friends are the top ways that people meet. But I do not want to discount chance meetings but yeah, maybe maybe a car dealership. Car is good too. And I know that’s a big topic of conversation on real housewives. But, but no, I want to stay with the market for a second. Okay, because the question is what kind of market because if you go to, let’s say You are really into a healthy lifestyle. And you go to the farmers market, there’s a lot of communication points and I talk about creating openings around something that you’re curious about. So if you’re at the farmers market, there’s like a new vegetable that you haven’t seen. You can just ask a cute guy standing next to you. Have you ever cooked with this? Like, what the heck is this thing right? And then you’re in it. I know like, once you get in the conversation garcelle it’s it’s gonna flow it’s just a matter of making that chance encounter. Jericho, you’re gonna meet a different kind of person at Yeah, air one, which is for those that that don’t know is sort of a high end health food market. Then you are at Ralph’s, which is like right now every day chop.


Unknown Speaker  36:52  

Your Man is for lunch. I knew that about you. I knew that.


Unknown Speaker  36:57  

No shade of food for less but


Damona  36:58  

no, yes. Jake right and we’ve been out. Now we know the guy we figure out where we can go find him. Girl, I could talk to you about this forever.


Unknown Speaker  37:07  

For a lot of


Damona  37:09  

a lot of homework so you’re gonna come back and report back.


Unknown Speaker  37:15  

I love it. This is so much fun.


Damona  37:17  

This was so much fun and remember garcelle also to give them a chance, like your friend said, sometimes you can breathe through breeze through. I have a three date rule. So try to make a connection. Give it try to give it three dates, if you can. Okay, let him come out of his shell and really show his true colors. But if after the third date ain’t happening, then it happened. It occurred. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  37:40  

I love it. Thank you so much for being here.


Unknown Speaker  37:42  

Thank you. I enjoyed it so much.


Damona  37:44  

to y’all you have to check out her podcast going to bed with garcelle and get yourself caught up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo. Before we move on and get to answering your dating and relationship questions I wanted to let you know how I can help you too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about dating and relationships and looking for more support, then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits on Patreon. What is Patreon you may ask? Well, Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits in the process. You can check out our slash dates and mates, you’re probably wondering what do you get if you sign up? Well, first, you’ll get access to my private Facebook group for all the friends with benefits where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show in a safe and supportive space. Plus, you’ll get access to my weekly behind the mic. This is a new feature, where I will give you the insider take on the latest episode and even some additional content and tips that will help support you on whatever topic we’re talking about that week. And you’ll also Get behind the scenes content and some of our library episodes from some of the past 300 plus episodes of dates and mates. Just go to slash dates and mates and you can join for only $5. And then hopefully we can keep this show going for maybe another eight seasons more. All right, when we come back, I will be answering your questions, so don’t go anywhere. Welcome back. I am here and ready to answer all of your relationship questions. A little something different since I just launched the LA Times column dear demona. We are doing a bit of a rebrand you have known this segment for seven seasons as technically dating, but now let me introduce to you our new q&a segment.


Unknown Speaker  39:54  

damona help me


Damona  39:55  

this one comes to us from one of our Fw B’s. Lauren. Hey girl, she says I had a Convo with a guy. And it turns out he hates to go out and spend money. He came from a poor household and I have no issues with funds. How can I suggest that we’d be okay to go out without him feeling like he needs the finances to do so? Oh, this is this is a real issue in a lot of relationships, you know, couples tend to fight about money more than anything else. And the bottom line is that he needs to feel like he’s contributing to the relationship in some way. So even if you have the finances by you saying, well, I’ll just pay for it. I’ll just take you out. It might make him feel a little bit like he’s not at your level, it might make him feel less than and it might send the relationship in the wrong direction. You have to be a little bit more creative if you want to be with him, but it’s not an issue for you that he doesn’t have the money. Then try to be more creative and figure out some day That you can do that don’t cost anything. There are so many things, especially in the pandemic world. You can go for a hike, you can maybe do a sip and paint night at home and get, get supplies that you do together play a game that you already have. There are so many ways that you can connect with someone without having to spend money. And actually, this is a good tip for everyone. I really encourage you to get creative with your dates right now, we can’t do the same old dinner in a movie. So why not use this as an opportunity to connect on a deeper level? Last question for today comes from Instagram. This person says I’m about to be 50 what dating advice do you have for the older crew? So this comes to us from a lady and as you know in society, there are a lot of people that try to make you feel like if you’re 50 or 60 or whatever you should just hang up the towel because Dating is done. And that is just ridiculous. I have helped clients all the way up to their 80s find love again and find love online, many of them. So that’s the great takeaway is that because of dating apps, people who may not have had an opportunity to find love again, maybe if you’ve been divorced or widowed, or you’ve just been focusing on your career or other things and haven’t had the time to date, you still have the ability to make a connection, even if you don’t have the same single circles that you used to. So what I would say first of all, is just to feel 50 and fabulous and know that it’s just a number and you will read some statistics that say men would would not write back to you, if you’re older or if you see that they’re looking for someone in their, I don’t know 40s and you’re 4950 that it’s not worth it to eat Reach out or swipe right. Don’t believe everything that you read, I say, take a swing for it. And I’ve said this on the show before. If someone sees that you have an active lifestyle that you seem flexible, and you can roll with things and that you’re attractive that they’re attracted to your pictures and your profile, they’re going to write you back, regardless of what that number says. So I say, live your 50 fabulous life. Don’t worry about what the number is. But be proactive, as I always say to women, be proactive, send outgoing messages, generate conversations, maybe pick up some of those, those opening lines that we gave you from the dating dish, and put yourself out there, see what you can get in return. That’s it for today’s episode number 321. updates and mates. Make sure you catch me later this season on guard sells new podcast go into bed with garcelle where she talks all about six intimacy. It’s a hot one, y’all. I think you’ll like it though. And as always, we will put the links from today’s show in the show notes at dates and While you’re there, I also have free gifts. I have a free profile starter kit, which will get you online, refresh your profile, get you out there, dating, whatever age, whatever, whatever photos you have, I’ll hook you up and that’s all free at dates and mates calm or if you’re already in a relationship starting something new. You want to keep things fresh, you can get the seven day relationship boot camp, all those tools are free for you at dates and mates calm. And then if you want to go a step deeper with me, please I invite you to check out the Patreon Friends with Benefits Program and support this show for just $5 a slash dates and mates. I would love to hear from you. You can connect with me on all the socials at damona Hoffman and don’t forget to DM me about how you felt about today’s episode. Whatever questions are on your mind, so I can answer them in a future show. I’ll be back again next week with more modern love advice. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Love Lessons: Your Spirit & Inner Child

Are you giving off the right first impression?

Are you giving off the right first impression?

You have 7 seconds to make the right first impression. It takes 7 seconds for someone to decide whether you are a right fit… or not.

It’s surprising that someone can discern a strong sense of who you are with a first impression. Even more surprising, they can pick up on some of the most intimate details of your past:

Are you compensating for something? 

Do you have some lingering emotional scars?

Are you looking for love?

So what does your first impression say about you?

Today on the Dates & Mates podcast, I’m guiding you to understand and visualize your true essence and how to align with your inner child so you can make a real and lasting impression.

This is the final episode in a 4 part series 
designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Full series LIVE NOW!


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that into me. I’ve always been bad. For attention. I’m ready for


Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. My lovers, my lovers, my lovers. Welcome to dates in May. It’s I can’t believe it. But this is the last episode of the seventh season of the show. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait long for the next season. To begin. It will begin next week. But to close out this season, we have a special micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome. But be advised that this is not the regular format, which usually includes headlines, interviews, and q&a. So I encourage you to go back and listen to previous episodes from this season first, and then come back and join me for this unusual podcast experience. For those of you already ready to go deeper with me and want to join me for a unique exploration to open you up to love. This is the last part of a three part exploration into your mind, body and spirit. Last week, we covered the body with a yoga tutorial that demonstrates how your physical movements and the patterns you carry in your body are a living metaphor for your love life. Deep right? Then the week before we did a visualization to help you picture yourself in the future with your ideal mate and get into the feeling of what it will be like to be with this person and what messages they might have to send to you. That will help you in being able to identify them and find them in the now. today. I’m going to talk to your spirit and share a lesson that I’ve only presented in private circles before. I really hope If you enjoy it, seven seconds, that’s it. According to an NYU study, you have only seven seconds before the person across from you makes up their mind about who you are seven seconds to get someone to ask for your number, or be offered the job, or close the deal. only seven seconds. Now, you know me as a dating expert, but I actually started out as a casting director. And in my work, I saw tons of actors who were talented, but couldn’t book apart because they didn’t know who they truly were. What if Melissa McCarthy thought she was a Jenny McCarthy? Or if Taylor Swift was trying to be Beyonce? I know you probably have some thoughts about that, but I’m not gonna get into it. I just want you to know. We wouldn’t connect with them if they were constantly trying to be someone other than who they were. But I noticed that the way that my students headshots capture their personality. This is the photos that actors use to present themselves to casting directors and the information that they would choose to include in their resume and their style. When they walked in the audition room. It all had an impact on their career. My classes essentially got actors in touch with their authentic selves, and taught them how to express that clearly, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s mold to be noticed. Sound familiar? The first time I became aware of this principle was during a theater class in college. Yes, I was a nerdy theater major. We did an exercise that was designed to teach us about our essence, which is basically just a fancy theater term for the way that you present to others physically and emotionally. The way that people perceive you the minute you walk in the room so We walked around the theater waiting for the teacher to call out a student’s name. When that name was said, we were supposed to embody that person’s essence and express how we perceived their energy. So she calls the name Robin and Robin was lively. So everybody started walking around going Robin, Robin Robin. And then she mentions Mandy Mandy sorta, easygoing, everybody starts to kind of shuffle their feet and say, Mandy, Mandy, Mandy, and then she says Dimona, and everyone says Dimona, and then crosses their arms in front of them in a judgmental and sort of discerning manner. And I was shocked, because that’s what they saw. But that’s not how I felt. That’s not who I really was. But to understand this moment, I have to give you a little bit of background on what I had brought into the room that day.


So I grew up as one of the only people of color in my affluent neighborhood in East Lansing, Michigan. My mom is a black woman from the projects in Detroit. My father is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. And the year before I came to college, my parents divorced. And people would ask me how I was handling their split, and I would say, it doesn’t even really affect me. I just I just keep busy. And all that time. I was also battling my weight and overcoming the image of myself as a pudgy kid with poofy hair, who looked nothing like anyone else she knew. I fit in everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. So when I went to college, I wore black every day. It’s slimming right? Plus I was an artist. And I thought I was doing a great job of hiding away the broken misfit inside and parading her around the mask of a discriminating artist. But in an instant, they had all seen behind it when everyone in my class did Dimona, with crossed arms and that look, I had to acknowledge what they were seeing. Who was this critical, uptight girl in black? Was that who I had become? Or was that a mask in itself that my childhood pain had put on top of me? Eventually, I began to shed away the layers with a lot of personal growth and a lot of time to surrender to who I truly was the whole time. A helper, a healer, a lover of bright colors, especially pink You all know that and everything I experienced started to converge when I was teaching my acting classes at night, and then looking for Mr. Right online. And it didn’t take me long to see that correlation between what I was teaching actors. And my experience with online dating. My profile pictures were like my headshots, and my profile bio was like a resume. And doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a first day is essentially an audition. I know you won’t argue with me on that. And everything that I was learning at work, and everything that that burst theater exercise taught me was being put into practice in my dating life


Unknown Speaker  7:42  

every day.


Damona  7:43  

But once I embraced my own unique quirks and qualities, and allowed them to shine through in my profile, rather than hiding behind a little black dress, or a snarky email, my dating life completely shifted This new perspective led me to meet the man who has been my husband for 13 years. And it helps me to lead hundreds of clients to success and guide. Thousands of podcast listeners right here through this show dates inmates. The COVID pandemic is reminding us of how important human connection is. And the current racial climate reminds us of how important it is to see the person in front of you for what’s inside what’s deeper than the surface. If you ask me, it’s the perfect time to fall in love. But wait, have you ever thought about why they say fall in love? Because for you to see yourself and for someone else to see the real you. It requires surrender. Acceptance of who you are, who your partner is, and an understanding of your true essence. Your soul, your soul. berat. Anyone can experience an initial physical attraction when they see someone. That’s the seven second rule I was telling you about earlier. But to actually fall in love, you have to be willing to fall. You have to be willing to share your true self with someone and let them see beyond the black clothes and the crossed arms. You have to accept that the outcome. It’s not entirely within your control. You have to surrender. So for a moment today, I invite you to take a look at yourself and look at the deeper layer your essence. What do you know about yourself that you keep locked away? How does that inner self come across when people first meet you? Can you peel back the layers? The coats of armor that you’ve cloaked yourself into cushion the fall Can you see that the Real discovery is in the fall. It’s so heavy to carry around all that armor with you all day. What if you just let it go. To help you do this, I’d like to lead you through a little exercise. It was part of my own transformations so many years ago. And I want to offer it up to you today as a way to get closer to that true essence of self, your soul. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture yourself in your body right now. how it looks on the outside, how it feels on the inside. Really experience what it’s like to live in your current self. feel the emotions that you brought into this room or you’re listening to this podcast right now. Feel the stressors that you live with. Feel that armor that you carry around with you Each day Ah, take a deep breath and picture yourself peeling away the top layer like a Russian nesting doll underneath the shell. There’s another self that looks almost identical to the current you but feels slightly lighter, a little more free. Now take a breath and peel away another layer. I feel the differences in this body and this self. And as you peel back layer after layer, you are shedding the stories that you’ve been telling yourself, the wounds that you’ve acquired over the years to get to a more authentic sense of self without all of those layers without all of those pains. Keep peeling back these layers until you see yourself as a Child. Look clearly at the image of your child self. Observe what your child looks like and what they’re doing. What is the expression on their face? How do you perceive the essence of your own child self? Now in your mind, ask the child, who they are and what they want.


And listen, listen intently, as the child expresses their identity, perception, thoughts, feelings, and needs. Maybe these are things that never got expressed when you were a child, but things that you wish You could hear your child’s self Express right now. And as you listen, let their words fill you up with those dreams and intentions. Let their description of themselves wash over you. This is the real you inside. Before you were hurt, before you learned how to shape shift into someone else, to survive difficult situations. Feel what it’s like to just be in your true essence. Not to put on airs, or change yourself to be lovable, to be lovable just by being you. You. You let that feeling wash over you And now, picture this child growing, getting bigger and bigger until you start to realize and recognize the you have today. Start to come back to your present self.


That child is still inside you. He or she has been there all along. You just need to sit back sometimes and let your child self come out to play. If your eyes are closed, you may open them right now and hear this message. This child, your child self deserves it all. Compassion hope unconditional love. And so do you. You’re not your stories and experiences, your soul is pure. And you always have the choice to come back to your true essence and begin again. You always have the option to bring your whole heart and your whole self into your next relationship. Be your true self attract true love. And don’t be afraid to fall in love. Thank you for joining me for this special dates inmates love lessons micro series. Next week, season eight of dates inmates will begin and I’m really excited to finally share with you that my guest will be the incredible garcelle Beauvais and you actually have something in common with her. Though she started out as a model and she starred in films and TV shows For decades, she’s now on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She lives her fabulous life, but garcelle is still looking for love. And she has bravely agreed to do a dating coaching session with me on air. Y’all. This episode is perfect for anyone who loves the real housewives, or is a fan of garcelle or as a black woman looking for love, or is just curious about what it’s like to go through this experience and coach one on one with me. So I hope you will join me for that on Monday, August 3. And in the meantime, I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episodes I know is a bit of a departure from what we normally do. But this is the kind of work that I do in my programs. And this is the kind of practice that I have incorporated into my own life and use to find love and to help others. So I wanted to share the deeper level with you and give you the opportunity to go on that journey. If you didn’t like it, no worries. We’ll be back to the regular format soon. But if you love it, let me know and I’ll be sure to do more of this. In closing, I humbly ask you to support the show through Patreon, I wanted to bring you these love lessons without any ad interruptions in the middle. So it would help me to continue to make dates and mates free to so many if you can just pledge $5 to support the show. In addition to the special video trainings and discounts on my future programs, and access to my library of older episodes, I’m also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits group that give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. They’re called behind the mic. And they’ll also include some live private q&a with me. So I invite you, I encourage you to please join the community and you’ll be with other daters who understand just what you’re going through and you’ll have me to walk you through it and We’ll support future episodes of the show and keep it free for hopefully eight more seasons. You can join right now for just $5 at, slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your support. I’m so appreciative of the recent five star reviews. trueblue says it’s top notch advice. This podcast as informative and insightful. I think so true blue. I I’m really glad to hear that you found it and that you believe so as well. If you’re listening have a friend who could use this week’s love lesson or any of our prior episodes. Please do share dates and mates with them and help us spread the love. Until next season, which happens to be next week. I wish you happy dating